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Posted: February 15, 2017

7 things to know now: Trump and Russia; murderer convicted 40 years later; dog show winner

By Debbie Lord

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Russian contact: The New York Times is reporting that current and former U.S. officials, aides and associates of President Donald Trump made calls to senior Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. According to the story from the Times, there has been no evidence uncovered to suggest that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia on the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.  Russian officials made contact with Paul Manafort, who briefly served as Trump's campaign chairman, the story says. Current and former U.S. officials interviewed by the Times declined to identify other Trump associates contacted by the Russians, The Associated press reported. Russian officials have denied the allegations.

2. Driving badly: A study by the AAA Foundation finds that during the past 30 days, more than half of the drivers they surveyed in America have engaged in reckless behavior while behind the wheel.  Eighty-eight percent of young drivers – ages 19 to 24 – have admitted to either speeding or texting. Older drivers admitted to their own bad driving behavior, with 37 percent of drivers older than 75 saying they have blown through a red light. 

3. Murder conviction: Nearly 40 years after the crime, the man who murdered Etan Patz was found guilty Tuesday. Pedro Hernandez was convicted of luring Etan, who was 6 at the time, into a basement where he strangled the boy. Etan had been walking to the school bus when Hernandez grabbed him.

4. Adler files suit: Doug Adler, a former tennis commentator  for ESPN, is suing the network after he was fired for a remark he made about Venus Williams during the Australian Open. Adler says in the suit that he was dropped from the network because he used the word “guerilla” to refer to the aggressive style with which Williams plays tennis. He said his comment was not meant to compare Williams to a gorilla. He apologized for the comment on the air during the tournament. The network fired him soon after.

5. Increasing the Army: The U.S. Army is looking to increase its ranks by 6,000 soldiers come the end of  September, and they plan to spend a lot of money to do it. Legislation approved by Congress last year calls for using $300 million to pay bonuses and for advertising during the next eight months in an effort to recruit the additional soldiers. If they can do it, it will be the largest in-year increase in the 44-year history of the all-volunteer service force.

And one more

A female German shepherd took home the trophy in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday. Rumor won Best in Show at the competition held annually at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Nearly 3,000 dogs participated in the event.

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