Dustin Steinhoff, News Editor

Local News

Deonte Taylor, a Ferguson-Florissant School District staff member, was charged with three counts of first-degree sodomy against a student in a separate school district Nov. 28.

Taylor was reportedly acting as a teaching assistant at Lusher Elementary, a school in the Hazelwood School District, when he committed the crime. Authorities told KSDK that November 2015 Taylor took a 7-year-old student out of class and brought the student into a different room where he sodomized him.

Ferguson-Florissant school officials claim they were alerted to the allegations made against him Tuesday, leading them to tell Taylor to go to Human Resource Services rather than the school Wednesday morning. He was charged later that day.

National news

Nov. 29 Michael Cohen, a former lawyer of President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to Congress for lying about plans to build a Trump tower in Russia. The discussions between Trump and his potential Russian business deal took place in early 2016 during Russia’s attempts to sabotage the election. This was also the same time frame when Trump was advocating for closer relations between the U.S. and Russia. Being one of Trump’s closest allies at one point, Cohen stated he lied to Congress due to his loyalty to Trump and in order to align with his political messages.

CNN and Buzzfeed also reported that an idea being considered for the planned tower was to offer the penthouse to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The information was provided by Felix Sater, a Russian businessman and former associate of Trump, who worked on the tower power project with Cohen. Buzzfeed also reports that Cohen had discussed the idea with one of Putin’s press secretaries. Slater went on to explain the idea was a “marketing ploy” that’s purpose would have been to increase the building’s value through Putin’s association with it. It is currently unknown if Trump was aware the idea was being considered.

International News

Luiz Fernando Pezao, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, was taken into custody Nov. 29 under allegations of taking bribes totaling about $10 million since 2007.

Pezao was elected to the position of governor in 2014 after serving as Rio’s deputy governor from 2007–2014.

Pezao is the latest in a long string of arrests of government officials in Rio for corruption. Now including Pazao, all of Rio’s elected governors since 1998 have been arrested for corruption.

Carlos Miranda, a former advisor to Rio’s previous governor Sergio Cabral and Pazo’s superior from 2007–2014, made a plea bargain in which he testified to Pezao accepting thousands of dollars worth of bribes every month.