Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 76° Clear

chron briefs

Aug. 11, 2022 Updated Thu., Aug. 11, 2022 at 4:15 p.m.

Police: N.M. man knew Muslim men he’s charged with killing

The man charged in the killings of two Muslim men this summer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, knew the victims, according to court records.

Muhammad Atif Syed, 51, was charged with two counts of murder in the killings of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41. An investigation is ongoing into whether Syed was involved in the killings of two other Muslim men in the area.

Syed was arrested Monday after authorities trailed him from a Costco to his Albuquerque home, where they found a Volkswagen Jetta matching the description of the vehicle that police had told the public to keep watch for.

Syed left the home in the Jetta before authorities detained him in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, about halfway between Albuquerque and the Texas border.

He told officers that he was driving to Houston “to find a new place for his family to live because the situation in Albuquerque was bad” and mentioned the recent shootings of Muslims, according to the court records.

Russia confirms Griner prisoner swap talks

Russia confirmed Thursday for the first time that negotiations between Washington and Moscow on a prisoner exchange are underway, after the United States proposed a deal to release WNBA star Brittney Griner and another American prisoner, Paul Whelan.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said talks are underway via a channel set up by President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin when they met in Geneva in June last year.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechayev said Thursday that negotiations about an exchange began after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed last week that Russia was willing to talk.

The Biden administration has been under pressure to secure Griner’s release after her arrest at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport in February. She was carrying two vape cartridges with cannabis oil, containing less than a gram of the substance, which is banned in Russia.

Griner asked the court for leniency but was sentenced last Thursday to 9½ years in prison. Her lawyers have announced plans to appeal.

U.S. jobless claims rise again, near highest since November

Applications for U.S. unemployment insurance rose for a second week and held near the highest level since November, indicating continued moderation in the labor market.

Initial unemployment claims increased by 14,000 to 262,000 in the week ended Aug. 6, Labor Department data showed Thursday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 265,000 applications.

Continuing claims for state benefits ticked up to 1.43 million in the week ended July 30, the most since early April.

Jobless claims have been rising as more companies, particularly in the tech sector, announce layoffs and freeze hiring due to economic uncertainty. Demand for workers may drop as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, but so far, employers are largely trying to hold onto the ones they have amid widespread labor shortages.

That was reinforced by July’s jobs report, which showed U.S. employers added more than double the number of jobs forecast and the unemployment rate dropped to match a 50-year low. And a below-forecast rise in consumer prices on Wednesday may take some of the pressure off the Fed to go as big with its next interest-rate hike.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.