The woman, who has not been named due to the highly sensitive missions undertaken by the Green Berets, will next attempt the Special Forces Qualification Course, USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said.
The US Army Special Forces, commonly known as the Green Berets, specialize in unconventional warfare and international internal defense and counter-terrorism.
“Recently, a female successfully completed Special Forces Assessment and Selection and was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course,” Bymer said in a statement.
“We’re proud of all the candidates who attended and were selected to continue into the qualification course in hopes of earning their Green Beret,” Bymer added. “It is our policy to not release the names of our service members because Special Forces Soldiers perform discrete missions upon graduation.”
The 24-day continuous assessment is an intense test of candidates’ mental and physical endurance. Several women have attempted the gender-neutral test since January 2016, when the Department of Defense began accepting women for all armed combat positions, Bymer said.
The female soldier’s success comes following remarks by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in September that “the jury is out” on the success of women serving in infantry roles due to an insufficient sample size.
“This is a policy I inherited, and so far the cadre is so small we have no data on it. We’re hoping to get data soon,” Mattis said.
He added that the department was still trying to “give it every opportunity to succeed if it can.”
“Right now, it’s not even dozens, it’s that few,” Mattis said.
In January 2017, the first three women joined the infantry Marines, serving in the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The first note came on Friday. Scrawled in pencil was: “You’re a terrorist.”
On Tuesday, the student found a second threatening note: “I will kill you.”
Neither the fifth-grader who received the notes nor the other students at the school are thought to be in imminent danger, Framingham School District Superintendent Robert Tremblay said in a news conference on Wednesday. “Safety is our priority,” he said.
In addition to the police investigation, the school district is conducting a separate internal investigation, Tremblay said.
The girl’s family requested her name not be published to preserve her privacy.
After the fifth-grader gave the first note to her teacher on Friday, the school didn’t immediately involve the police, hoping a student would come forward, according to Principal Elizabeth Simon.
The school emailed parents asking for any information they might have regarding the incident, but when the second note appeared on Tuesday, the police were involved.
The targeted girl is still going to school every day, said her uncle, Jamaal Siddiqui.
“All she said is she wants to be as normal as possible. She doesn’t want to be treated differently,” Siddiqui said.
The family has been an involved part of the Framingham community for decades, and he and his family members all attended Framingham School District schools, Siddiqui said.
“I’ve been through racism. My wife has been through racism. As adults we know how to cope with it,” Siddiqui said.
“But for our niece, she doesn’t know why she’s being targeted.”
Simon said this was the first discriminatory incident at the school. “We have not had something that was such a targeted, hateful message. … My staff is devastated.”
Tremblay said Wednesday that a bigger conversation around hate should be had around the state.
“This is a pervasive problem [that] we need to take a stand on and address,” he said.
“When you think about a child who’s in fifth grade,” said Tremblay. “That kind of hate, you know, where does that come from? It’s not an innate feeling that a child would have. And the concern that we have is, how is this a teachable opportunity for our classrooms?”
In an effort to bring students together, all fifth-grade students wrote nice notes to the student victim and the school is holding talks with each class to process the events, school officials said.
Vahid Mazloumin, a mogul known for his work in the gold coin trade and nicknamed the “Sultan of Coins,” and his accomplice Mohammad-Esmaeil Qassemi were found guilty of forming a “smuggling gang” that manipulated the domestic currency market and made “illegal deals,” Iran’s state-run IRNA news said.
Mazloumin, 58, was arrested in July and sentenced to death in October for allegedly hoarding the coins, a move which Iran said destabilized the country’s currency market, IRNA reported.
The Iranian rial has been in a nosedive this year, largely due to the Trump administration’s decision to reimpose sanctions against Tehran after the White House abandoned the Iran nuclear deal. Many Iranians have reportedly rushed to buy gold, foreign currencies and precious metals to protect their savings, as the rial is estimated to have plummeted by around 70%.
The IRNA report said that “in recent months, (the) economic situation and the instability in the Forex market have caused popular discontent.”
Amnesty International called the trial of the two men “grossly unfair” and condemned the decision to execute the men for non-violent crimes.
“With these abhorrent executions the Iranian authorities have flagrantly violated international law and once again displayed their shameless disregard for the right to life,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director.
“Use of the death penalty is appalling under any circumstances but it is even more horrific given that these men were convicted after a grossly unfair show trial that was broadcast on state television. Under international human rights law, the death penalty is absolutely forbidden for non-lethal crimes, such as financial corruption.”
International human rights groups have long criticized Iran for its use of capital punishment. Tehran has reportedly executed five minors this year — one of only four countries to do so since 2013, according to Human Rights Watch.
Earlier this year, Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved a request by the head of the country’s judiciary to set up special courts to deal with financial crimes The courts have sentenced several people to death since then, according to Amnesty International.
Its price plummeted more than 10% on Wednesday, hitting its lowest level in more than a year. It’s now trading below $6,000, far from the heights it reached during its meteoric rise at the end of 2017.
After nearly touching $20,000 in December 2017, bitcoin’s value nosedived in volatile trading over the months that followed. But it has enjoyed a period of relative stability since early September, hovering between $6,000 and $7,000.
Wednesday’s drop is a sharp reminder that cryptocurrencies are still an extremely volatile investment.
While some people have managed to get rich by trading digital currencies, most investors are all too familiar with their rapid, unpredictable price swings.
Bitcoin is 10 years old

The volatility comes from sudden changes in the perceived value of cryptocurrencies. Like stock prices, cryptocurrencies are affected by supply and demand — but hype also plays a major role in murky, loosely regulated markets where some investors have huge holdings.
Triggers such as alarming news reports and rumors of stricter regulation of the industry can lead to big moves in crypto markets.
Bitcoin’s plunge on Wednesday was driven in part by expectations that another major cryptocurrency, bitcoin cash, will split into two on Thursday, according to Marshall Hayner, founder of Metal Pay, a cryptocurrency payments service.
While bitcoin and bitcoin cash are separate, such events can fuel uncertainty and lead to crazy volatility across crypto markets.
Hayner said bitcoin is also likely coming under pressure from fading hopes that the market will get stronger before the end of the year.
As bitcoin’s price spiked toward $20,000 near the end of last year, some of its boosters were optimistically predicting it could go as high as $50,000 in 2018.
  • Wednesday night: Heavy rain moves through the Southeast while snow and ice impact portions of the Midwest into the Ohio Valley
  • Thursday morning: Rain moves into the mid-Atlantic, transitioning to snow and ice in the Appalachians
  • Thursday afternoon: Rain, snow, and ice move into the Northeast, with snow becoming heavy across the interior
  • Thursday night: Heavy snow moves into upstate New York and New England while a mix of rain and snow quickly transitions to rain closer to the coast
  • Friday: Snow lingers across northern New England into the afternoon
Nearly 25 million are under a flood or flash flood watch from Georgia to Virginia, where heavy rain on top of the already saturated soil could bring flooding.

Winter weather watches, warnings and advisories extend over a wide area from the Deep South, Mississippi and Ohio Valley, into the Northeast.

Snow is falling as far south as Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and will spread north over a wide area, including St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Louisville, into the Appalachians and much of the Northeast.

The heaviest snow will likely pile up from the central Appalachians into New England, where over 6″ is expected. A heavy pocket of four to six inches is also possible around the St. Louis area, making it their biggest November snowfall in decades.

The northeast metros will escape the heavy snow, but will be left with a miserable mix of rain and snow, changing to all rain as the temperatures warm slightly into the mid and upper 30s.

Several people knew of Cruz’s threats of violence, tendency to mutilate animals and expressed desire to commit a school shooting, an investigator told the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission during a hearing on Tuesday in Sunrise, Florida. They also knew he had knives and firearms, the investigator said.
“Over a really extended period of time, a lot of people saw Cruz’s behavior — very troubling behavior,” said commission chair, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. “And in many cases, that probably should have caused them to report what they saw, heard or learned, but for a variety of reasons they did not.”
“The phrase, ‘See Something, Say Something,’ it means something, and it has to be more than a phrase,” the sheriff said.
Cruz, 20, was arrested shortly after the shooting on February 14 and has confessed to being the gunman, court documents show. He is awaiting trial on 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty.
A judge entered a plea of not guilty on Cruz’s behalf when he was arraigned in March after his attorney told the judge the teen was standing mute to the charges, meaning he was declining to enter a plea.
Tuesday’s hearing was held on the same day Cruz allegedly tackled and repeatedly punched a jail guard, then took his stun gun in a fight, according to an arrest report. He now faces additional charges of assault, battery and the use of an electric weapon on the guard in the Broward County Sheriff’s main jail.
Cruz’s attorney has described him as a “deeply disturbed, emotionally broken” young man, who suffers from mental illness and trauma. His defense team has said there is no question he did it, and he’s willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty.
Prosecutors will seek death penalty in Parkland school massacre

The sheriff told the commission that people learned of Cruz’s behavior from his social media posts, personal observations and contact him and his family. In some cases, people did report what they learned, but it was never followed up on, the sheriff said.
Three people knew Cruz had made statements about shooting up a school, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris Lyons told the commission.
Seven others knew of instances of animal cruelty or killing; 19 knew Cruz had knives, bullets or firearms; eight people had knowledge of his statements of hate towards others and 11 of Cruz’s statements of his desire to hurt or kill people, Lyons said.
“Sometimes Cruz would bring deceased animals to school with their heads removed. And Cruz would show other students, and he was proud of the animals that had been killed,” Lyons said.
One student who once rode the school bus with Cruz recalled “that he made bad jokes about Jewish people, Nazis, and Hitler,” Lyons said during his presentation.
“He would also say things like, ‘I wish all the Jews were dead.’ The student described Cruz as racist toward African-Americans,” Lyons said. “Cruz had previously shown him knives and bullets that he’d brought to school.”
FBI says it didn't act on tip about Parkland shooter

FBI says it didn't act on tip about Parkland shooter

Lyons said some of Cruz’s threats were directed at his adoptive mother. Lynda Cruz died last fall following an illness.
A bank employee knew that “Nikolas had directed Lynda Cruz to kill herself or that he would kill her,” Lyons said.
“Lynda made her promise that if anything happened to her, she would tell them it was Nicholas,” Lyons said.
From 'broken child' to mass killer

From 'broken child' to mass killer

The hearing also focused on how 911 calls were handled on the day of the shooting.
Calls came into Coral Springs, but they had to be transferred to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the lead agency, because Coral Springs didn’t have access to the deputies or the radio channel in the communication center, according to Gualtieri.
“It took 28 seconds for Coral Springs to even transfer it over to BSO, and it took BSO 41 seconds to process it — and that’s 69 seconds. At the 69 second mark, Cruz was already pretty much done with the killing on the first floor, Gualtieri told CNN affiliate WFOR.
Scot Peterson, the former Broward County Sheriff school resource officer criticized for his response to the shooting, and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel are among those expected to testify on Thursday.
The 93-year-old World War II veteran had just fled his house in Paradise by driving his own car as the wildfire was approaching.
“He called me the burger girl,” Grant says. “It took us about 24 hours to convince him to follow me home.”
This was last Thursday in Oroville, about 11 miles south of the fire. Brundige told her he could sleep in his car that first night, and that’s exactly what he did, despite Grant’s protestations.
“I didn’t like leaving him there, but he’s very independent. So I made sure he had blankets and a pillow,” Grant says. “I stayed with him until about midnight.”
The following day the spread of smoke led the sheriff to evacuate the area where Brundige was parked. So Grant says she “gave him no choice but to come with me.”
Brundige was living alone in the home that his late wife designed, Grant says.
“He had no idea the fire was coming. He just happened to have his gardener there who started banging on his windows to wake him up.”
Since Friday Brundige has been living with Grant, her boyfriend Josh Fox and their two dogs, Axle and Cash, who keep him company.
The Camp Fire, bigger than the city of Atlanta, is the deadliest in state history. So far it’s killed at least 48 people and completely razed the town of Paradise.
Grant says Brundige doesn’t know whether his house is still standing. If it is, it won’t have power or any utilities, she adds.
“We are more then positive his home is gone,” Grant says. “Even if it isn’t, the town will not be livable for a while.”
Grant says she has contacted Brundige’s son and is learning more about her new boarder.
“We found he has many friends and is loved by his community,” she says. “He can stay with us as long as he would like.”
With fire on all sides, he went from one hose to another. When there were no hoses with water left, he picked up a bucket and started scooping water from his above-ground pool.
He had stayed in Paradise, California, to protect his 89-year-old mother, who is blind and was unwilling to leave.
With the help of a friend who is his mother’s caregiver, Mic McCrary, Weldon fought the flames from the Camp Fire.
“There was times we were laying on the ground pouring the water on ourselves so we didn’t burn,” Weldon, 62, said.
As Brad Weldon tried to use a garden hose to keep flames away from his home in Paradise, California, a neighbor's house burned to the ground.

Did he ever think he was going to die?
“Oh yea, of course, quite a few (times). Quite a few,” he told CNN on Tuesday while looking at the damage to his yard and the horrific destruction to his neighbors.
The water to the hose lasted four hours. He had more water in the pool. Getting in the pool was a last resort in case the heat and the flames came too close, but they ended up only needing it for the buckets.
The house made it. He made it. Everyone is fine.
“It feels good to have it. I feel so sad for everyone though. Everybody I know lost everything,” he said while crying for his neighbors.
Five days after the record-setting blaze burned almost every home in town, Weldon, who is retired, is trying to stay positive.
Weldon is hopeful his home can serve in the aftermath as an anchor for people to come to while they plan for rebuilding or whatever comes next.
Weldon, his mother and McCrary are fortunate. Forty-two people died in the Camp Fire, and more than 6,400 homes are gone.
Their house is remarkably unscathed, save for some scorching on the back of the work shed.
Officials are still looking into the cause of the fire. They are investigating a report of a transmission line outage about 1 mile northeast of the town of Pulga, about 9 miles from Paradise.
While the blaze no longer appears to pose a direct threat to Paradise, Mayor Jody Jones is concerned about marshaling resources for cleanup and recovery so people can return to what’s left of their homes.
“My biggest concern is, do we have the resources to clean up debris and get safety hazards out of the way so people can get to their property ASAP,” she said.
Correction: This story has been updated to give the correct age for Brad Weldon’s mother.
The woman, who has not been named due to the highly sensitive missions undertaken by the Green Berets, will next attempt the Special Forces Qualification Course, USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said.
The US Army Special Forces, commonly known as the Green Berets, specialize in unconventional warfare and international internal defense and counter-terrorism.
“Recently, a female successfully completed Special Forces Assessment and Selection and was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course,” Bymer said in a statement.
“We’re proud of all the candidates who attended and were selected to continue into the qualification course in hopes of earning their Green Beret,” Bymer added. “It is our policy to not release the names of our service members because Special Forces Soldiers perform discrete missions upon graduation.”
The 24-day continuous assessment is an intense test of candidates’ mental and physical endurance. Several women have attempted the gender-neutral test since January 2016, when the Department of Defense began accepting women for all armed combat positions, Bymer said.
The female soldier’s success comes following remarks by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in September that “the jury is out” on the success of women serving in infantry roles due to an insufficient sample size.
“This is a policy I inherited, and so far the cadre is so small we have no data on it. We’re hoping to get data soon,” Mattis said.
He added that the department was still trying to “give it every opportunity to succeed if it can.”
“Right now, it’s not even dozens, it’s that few,” Mattis said.
In January 2017, the first three women joined the infantry Marines, serving in the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Florida law requires signatures on vote-by-mail and provisional ballots match the signatures on file for each voter. Attorneys for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s re-election campaign argued that Florida’s signature-match rules violate the US Constitution and called for the judge to invalidate the law. Lawyers representing the state of Florida and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, along with others, argued that the law was valid and constitutional.
Walker did not rule from the bench on Wednesday and gave no timeline for a ruling, but he engaged all the parties in an extensive question and answer session, using lively language and hypotheticals to attempt to puncture each side’s arguments. At times, he appeared skeptical of arguments on both sides.
Here's a rundown of the court cases at play in Florida's recount

The judge did indicate that he is unlikely to remove the state signature requirement, which would allow the now-voided ballots to be counted. Instead, he suggested finding a way for voters whose ballots had been rejected because of signature mismatches to address the problem through their local election officials.
Time is, however, of the essence, given a Thursday deadline for state election officials to finish the machine recounts of three statewide races, including Nelson’s bid for re-election against Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott and a final November 20 certification of all the election results.
The lawsuit is just one part of a broader Democratic effort in Florida to fight certain statutes that have put in dispute ballots they believe should be considered lawfully cast. Democrats, led by top lawyer Marc Elias, have filed at least four lawsuits in federal court, all of which look to either extend the time that counties have to recount votes or to grow the pool of votes that county election officials are legally allowed to consider.
The reason for all the attention is simple: Democrats trail in Florida’s top two statewide races, but party officials believe there is a slim chance that when all votes are counted they could close the gap and emerge victorious.
Rick Scott says he'll recuse himself from certifying his own election

Rick Scott says he'll recuse himself from certifying his own election

The most pressing race in question is between Nelson and Scott. Scott led Nelson in the unofficial, pre-recount tally by more than 12,500 votes.
The gubernatorial contest between Republican former Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is a different scenario. DeSantis led Gillum by nearly 34,000 votes, and Florida Democrats are cognizant that margin will probably not be overcome in a recount. Still, Gillum withdrew his election night concession over the weekend with a message that every vote should be counted.
It was disclosed Wednesday that the number of ballots in question is smaller than some Democrats had hoped. Maria Matthews, an official with the secretary of state’s office who was one of two witnesses to testify on Wednesday, told the court that the number of mismatched-signature ballots is slightly more than 3,700 from the 46 counties that had reported numbers to her. Florida’s remaining 21 counties had not yet reported their numbers at the time court was in session.
Trump calls for Democratic election official in Florida to be fired amid recount

Trump calls for Democratic election official in Florida to be fired amid recount

Both sides agreed, however, that the total number of ballots in question would be around 5,000, similar to the number of mismatched-signature ballots in question after the 2016 election.
Walker said during the hearing that he did not consider the number of ballots to be a sign of fraud, which Matthews agreed with.
The hearing drew more interest than most in the otherwise quiet courthouse, with a mix of journalists, legal watchers and political operatives coming and going. Walker spiced it up at times with references to lawsuits multiplying like “Star Trek” Tribbles, a joke about an argument not passing the smell test being like having his face pushed into a “cow patty” and a gallows-humor reference to his late grandmother.
Hanging over the hearing was the fact that Florida has been here before. The 2000 Bush v. Gore recount and subsequent legal battle that ended in the Supreme Court was mentioned throughout the hearing, often in a somewhat joking matter. But in one instance Walker touted the importance of voting and decisions like the one he is being asked to make, because they essentially decided a presidential election in 2000 that led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I don’t think Florida has any problem. Whether we are wide awake or tired, we have plenty of errors in our elections,” Walker said after Mohammad Jazil, a lawyer for Florida’s secretary of state, suggested that a prolonged recount would mean more errors because election officials would be tired.
“I can assure you the more tired person in the room is me,” quipped Walker, who is presiding over at least seven cases related to Florida’s election.