The body of a Nebraska woman who disappeared after posting about going on a date has been found, her family said.

Few details are available about the discovery of Sydney Loofe’s body. Her family announced Monday night on Facebook that Loofe’s body had been found, according to the Antelope County News, but it remains unclear where her body was found or how authorities were led to it.

“It’s with heavy hearts that we share this most recent update with you all. Please continue to pray for Sydney and our entire family,” the family wrote. “May God grant eternal rest unto thee. We love you Sydney.”

Loofe, 24, had met a woman online before disappearing. After a second date with her, she was reported missing on Nov. 16. She had told a friend before her second date that things were going well and she was “excited to go on another date with her.”

Loofe’s date, 23-year-old Bailey Boswell, and her roommate, Aubrey Trail, 51, are persons of interest in the case. They are being held in a county jail, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Before being taken into custody, the pair posted a video to Facebook to tell “their side” of the story.

“We’re not trying to defend anything,” Trail said, according to the World-Herald. “We’re not trying to make you believe anything. We just feel we should get to say our side since everyone else gets to say theirs.”

In the video, which was later uploaded to YouTube, Boswell has her hoodie up and is wearing large sunglasses, and only half of Trail’s face can be seen.

Loofe’s final correspondence with friends was over Snapchat. She posted a photo and brief message with a heart-eyed emoji, “Ready for my date.”

—The Kansas City Star


Katy Perry awarded $3.3M in battle over Los Angeles convent

Katy Perry won another big payday in her biblical battle over a Los Angeles convent.

The same jury that awarded the singer nearly $1.6 million in compensatory damages to cover her costs fighting a businesswoman for the hot hilltop property voted Monday to give her another $3.3 million in punitive damages, City News Service reported.

“We’re obviously very pleased,” Perry’s lawyer Eric Rowen reportedly said.

The same jury also voted to give the Roman Catholic Archbishop $6.6 million in punitive damages, CNS said. That’s on top of $3.5 million in actual damages previously awarded.

Perry and the archdiocese sued businesswoman Dana Hollister for trying to thwart the singer’s deal to buy the property.

They said Hollister “fraudulently” convinced some of the nuns who lived there to back Hollister’s rival bid.

A successful restaurateur, Hollister wanted to convert the 8-acre property into a 60-room boutique hotel.

Perry offered $14.5 million for the spectacular spread, including $10 million cash, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese previously told The News.

“She wants to use it to care for her mother and her grandmother,” spokeswoman Monica Valencia said.

—New York Daily News


ATF finally starts review on bump stock authority 2 months after Vegas shooting

WASHINGTON — Two months after a shooter in Las Vegas killed 58 people and injured hundreds more, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Tuesday that it has just started reviewing whether it has the authority to ban bump stocks, used by the shooter to make his guns behave like automatic weapons.

After the mass murder, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress began calling for additional regulation of the devices. When the National Rifle Association weighed in saying it opposed new legislation, but only would support regulatory measures by ATF, lawmakers called on ATF officials to determine whether the agency had the authority to regulate bump stocks without congressional action.

Months later, ATF has announced it is starting that process — the day before ATF’s Acting Director Thomas E. Brandon is testifying in front of a Senate committee hearing that was previously postponed.

Supporters of bump stock legislation saw the announcement as an excuse for more foot-dragging.

“The ATF has been over this before,” said Chris Harris, communications director for Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. “Sen. Murphy believes that Congress could quickly act to provide statutory clarity that ATF needs to step in and ban bump stocks. There is bipartisan agreement on the issue — this isn’t hard.”

But Bill Earle, vice president of the ATF Association, which is comprised of current and former members of ATF, said he believes this is a step forward by a bureau looking to genuinely progress on the issue.

“I think we’re seeing bipartisan support on this, but not enough bipartisan support in Congress to somehow craft a law change,” said Earle, a retired chief financial officer at the ATF. “This seems like the Justice Department trying to assist the ATF by looking at a rulemaking process that could reclassify bump stocks without new legislation.”

Earle said the delay was likely due to the “difficult process” of setting up such a rulemaking review. He said reviews like this can take anywhere from three to six months, but he believes “there’s some urgency to get this done.”

At issue is whether a bump stock can be classified as a machine gun, which ATF already has the power to regulate. The accessory allows legal semiautomatic weapons to essentially function as illegal automatic ones, with a pull of the trigger initiating a spray of fire rather than a single bullet. Accessories can be classified as machine guns if they convert a firearm into a machine gun.

—McClatchy Washington Bureau


Russia’s Olympic team barred from 2018 Winter Games

The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday banned Russia from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Olympic leaders made their decision in response to an ongoing investigation that has found evidence of widespread doping among Russian athletes, coaches and officials. Authorities have also alleged that a Russian testing lab tampered with samples taken from its athletes during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Russian athletes who can prove they have competed cleanly will be allowed to compete in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag, the IOC said.

The announcement followed a day of debate among the members of the IOC executive board, who are meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week.

“The IOC took a strong and principled decision,” said U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun. “There were no perfect options, but this decision will clearly make it less likely that this ever happens again. Now it is time to look ahead to Pyeongchang.”

—Los Angeles Times


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