Russian Plane Crash, Nashville Mayor Resigns, Second Storm Begins, China’s Domestic Security

Russian Plane Crash, Nashville Mayor Resigns, Second Storm Begins, and more
  • ​A Russian military cargo plane crashed near an air base in Syria on Tuesday, killing all 39 Russian servicemen on board in a blow to Russian operations in Syria, The Chicago Tribune reports. The Russian military quickly insisted the plane was not shot down and blamed the crash on a technical error, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, shelling near the rebel-held eastern suburbs of Damascus killed dozens of people over the past 24 hours as Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, supported by the Russian military, pushed its assault on the capital's rebel-held suburbs.

  • Megan Barry resigned as Nashville's mayor Tuesday morning, weeks after admitting an affair with the police officer who ran her security detail. Barry announced her resignation at a news conference, shortly after she pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge related to the affair. The Nashville police officer with whom Barry had a longstanding affair received thousands of additional dollars in overtime pay compared with other security officers on the mayor's protection detail, according to records, The Tennessean reports.

  • The second big, blustery storm to hit the U.S. Northeast in less than a week began bringing wet, heavy snow Wednesday to a corner of the country where tens of thousands of people were still waiting for the power to come back on from the first bout of wintry weather, the Associated Press reports. The nor'easter closed schools and government offices, grounded flights, and raised fears of another round of fallen trees and electrical outages as it made its way up the East Coast. Though the winds aren't expected to be as strong as last week's storm, snow should be heavier and fall over a larger, more populated area. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning from eastern Pennsylvania and across most of New England from late Tuesday night into Thursday morning. Meanwhile, utilities are still racing to restore power to tens of thousands of customers in the Northeast still without electricity after last week's storm.

  • China has substantially increased spending on domestic security, official figures show, reflecting mounting concern about threats inside its borders as President Xi Jinping moves to acquire more power and reassert the authority of the Communist Party, The Wall Street Journal reports. Beijing's budgets for internal and external security have grown faster than the economy as a whole for several years, but domestic security spending has grown far faster—to where it exceeds the national defense budget by roughly 20 percent. The numbers, revealed in an annual budget report released this week, help illustrate the scale of a recent intensification of security and surveillance across China, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet, minority-heavy areas on the country's periphery.