Serial sex offender Steven Gordon guilty of killing four women in Los Angeles

At least three of the murders were carried out while the 47-year-old was wearing a GPS bracelet

A serial sex offender has been found guilty of killing four women — crimes that were mostly committed while he was being tracked by GPS and that now make him eligible for a death sentence.

Victims’ relatives clutched hands in the Orange County courtroom and closed their eyes while the guilty verdicts against Steven Dean Gordon were read. Some trembled and some cried.

Continue reading…

Czechoslovakia spied on Donald and Ivana Trump, communist-era files show

  • 1977 report said Trump was ‘completely tax-exempt for the next 30 years’
  • Trump was convinced in 1988 he could win presidency, informant wrote

The secret service of communist-era Czechoslovakia spied extensively on Donald Trump, it has emerged, with one informant alleging in 1977 that the future US president-elect “is completely tax-exempt for the next 30 years”.

The Státní bezpečnost or StB – the then communist state’s intelligence agency which dealt with any activity considered dangerous to the state or of western influence – spied on Trump and his Czechoslovak-born wife, Ivana, in the 1970s and 80s when she made regular trips back to visit her father, Miloš Zelníček.

Continue reading…

Unarmed 73-year-old man killed by police in Bakersfield, California

Family of Francisco Serna say he was suffering from dementia and was shot nine times, in same county found to have highest per capita rate of killings by police

A Bakersfield police officer shot and killed an unarmed 73-year-old man on Monday. Family members said Francisco Serna was suffering from dementia and was shot nine times as he took a walk outside his home in the early hours of the morning.

Bakersfield lies in Kern County, California, where a Guardian investigation last year revealed that law enforcement officers killed more people per capita than any other county in the US. The Bakersfield police department and the Kern County sheriff’s department are the two largest law enforcement agencies in the county.

Continue reading…

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ in the USA: meet the man visiting all 413 national parks in one trip

Mikah Meyer is making a record-breaking attempt in a battered Hyundai his father left him when he died, hoping to highlight parks for gay people and millennials

There was the night when something big was sloshing around ominously in the river next to his tent and he was too terrified to look out, but knew wolves and moose were at large.

Then there was the sweaty night when he thought he would bake to death in his van but was too scared to open the windows because he was parked in a sketchy neighborhood in Ohio.

Continue reading…

Leonardo DiCaprio meets Trump as climate sceptic nominated

Meeting at New York Trump Tower comes as US president-elect picks climate science sceptic to head Environmental Protection Agency

Leonardo DiCaprio and the head of his foundation met on Wednesday with US president-elect Donald Trump to discuss how jobs centring on preserving the environment can boost the economy, hours after Trump announced a climate science sceptic to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Related: Climate change sceptic Scott Pruitt to lead Environmental Protection Agency

Continue reading…

Donald Trump named as Time magazine’s person of the year

US president-elect joins Obama, Hitler and Stalin on list of people deemed most influential ‘for better or for worse’

In a fitting end to a year in which he dominated TV screens and front pages, Donald Trump has been named Time’s person of the year.

The annual cover on which the magazine recognises the person who “for better or for worse … has done the most to influence the events of the year” pictures the president-elect in his New York tower with the headline, Donald Trump: President of the Divided States of America.

Continue reading…

How a network led by the billionaire Koch brothers is riding the Trump wave

Despite the Koch brothers not backing Donald Trump financially with ads during the election, their network is emerging as a winner from his transition

Despite deciding not to back Donald Trump financially with ads during the presidential election, the sprawling donor and advocacy network led by the multibillionaire Koch brothers is emerging as a winner in the transition.

Longtime ally Mike Pence is leading the transition team, and several veteran Koch network donors, operatives and political allies are poised to join the Trump administration when the new president takes office in January.

Continue reading…

Thousands of snow geese die in Montana after landing on contaminated water

Huge flock of migratory birds landed on acidic waters of an open pit mine where employees attempted to scare them off

Several thousand snow geese have died after a snowstorm forced large flocks to take refuge in the acidic, metal-laden waters of an old open pit mine in Montana.

Mark Thompson, environmental affairs manager for mine company Montana Resources, said witnesses described the pit as like “700 acres of white birds” on 28 November.

Continue reading…

Obama dismisses his security critics and urges Trump to avoid ‘overreach’

President used final security speech to present a selective account of his record and urged Trump not to sacrifice US values in the name of national security

Without ever using Donald Trump’s name, Barack Obama savaged his successor’s stated inclinations on counterterrorism while issuing an impassioned plea not to sacrifice fundamental American values in the name of national security.

Obama used the final set-piece security speech of his presidency to present a highly selective account of his record, particularly about the mass surveillance architecture he embraced and the drone strikes that will be synonymous with his name.

Continue reading…