Secretary of State John Kerry’s spokeswoman shrugged off a campaign to denigrate her personally in the Russian media and said she took it as “a badge of honor.” Jen Psaki has been under fire in the Russian media and from pro-Kremlin commentators on social media as Washington and Moscow trade words over the crisis in Ukraine. The attacks on Psaki have included altered photographic images of her, cartoons, satirical reports and edited video. At a Department of State briefing on Tuesday, Psaki said the criticism was part of a Russian effort to discredit US officials because “the United States supports a strong democratic Ukraine, along with the majority of the international community and the Ukrainian people… So, if I get dinged a bit for that, I’m not going to sweat it. I will take it as a badge of honor. They do seem to have a bit of a tendency to focus on the outfits I’m wearing and the colors I’m wearing, and they’ve superimposed my head in photos. I think it’s ... a pretty clear sign that they don’t have the truth on their side.”
Non-teen pleads guilty
A 34-year-old woman who posed as a teenager to enroll as a sophomore at a Texas high school has pleaded guilty to failure to identify. A judge in Longview on Tuesday sentenced Charity Johnson to 85 days in jail in a plea agreement. New Life Christian School officials said Johnson enrolled in October last year with a guardian and indicated she was 15 years old. She was arrested on May 13.
Rousseff’s support slipping
Support for President Dilma Rousseff continues to slip ahead of October’s elections, according to a poll released on Tuesday, but she remains comfortably ahead of her two main rivals. Rousseff, from the ruling Workers’ Party, would receive the vote of 38 percent of those surveyed by pollster IBOPE, compared with 40 percent last month. Senator Aecio Neves, Rousseff’s biggest rival, was backed by 22 percent of those polled, up from 20 percent. Pernambuco Governor Eduardo Campos polled 13 percent and was also up two points from 11 percent last month. Rousseff’s approval ratings over the past year have suffered because of a stagnant economy, inflation, protests over public spending on the soccer World Cup and a series of scandals at the state run energy company.
Rescuers reach injured man
The mountain rescue service says an injured researcher stuck deep inside an Alpine cave on the Austrian border is able to walk with help, but an operation to bring him out may still take several days. The service on Tuesday said that a six-member multinational team is now with the 52-year-old man, who was hit by falling rocks on Sunday in the Riesending cave system near Berchtesgaden. The accident happened about 6,000m from the cave entrance.
Two die in school shooting
A gunman walked into an Oregon high school gym with a rifle and shot a student to death on Tuesday before he was found dead in a bathroom stall. Authorities identified the victim as 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman, a freshman at Reynolds High School in the Portland suburb of Troutdale. Gym teacher Todd Rispler was grazed by a bullet, but made his way to the school’s office to initiate the lockdown, police said. USA Today cited a police spokesman as saying the shooter was a teenager who shot himself to death.