Connect with us

World

U.S. basketball star Griner released from Russian custody in prisoner swap -Biden

News Agencies

Published

on

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been released in a prisoner swap with Russia and is now in U.S. custody, President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

The Russian foreign ministry said it traded Griner for Russian citizen Viktor Bout, a former arms dealer. The swap occurred at the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates, Russia news agencies said.

“She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home,” Biden said in a tweet.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke by phone with Griner from the Oval Office, a U.S. official said, adding that the call included Griner’s wife, Cherelle. The White House released a photo of the telephone call.

Advertisement

Biden was set to make remarks at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), the White House said.

Griner, 32, a star of the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Mercury, was arrested on Feb. 17. Talks to secure her release were complicated by Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent deep souring of ties between Washington and Moscow.

A two-time Olympic gold medallist, Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport when vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is banned in Russia, were found in her luggage.

Advertisement

She was sentenced on Aug. 4 to nine years in a penal colony on charges of possessing and smuggling drugs. She had pleaded guilty, but said she had made an “honest mistake” and had not meant to break the law.

Last month she was taken to a penal colony in the Russian region of Mordovia to serve her prison sentence.

Variously dubbed “the merchant of death” and “the sanctions buster” for his ability to get around arms embargoes, Bout, 55, was one of the world’s most wanted men before his arrest.

Advertisement

For almost two decades, Bout became the world’s most notorious arms dealer, selling weaponry to rogue states, rebel groups and murderous warlords in Africa, Asia and South America. For experts on the Russian security services, Moscow’s lasting interest in Bout hint strongly at Russian intelligence ties.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose and Humeyra PamukWriting by Doina ChiacuEditing by Tim Ahmann, Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Breaking News

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

Entertainment1 hour ago

‘American Idol’ singer Curtis ‘C.J.’ Harris died of a heart attack

Former “American Idol” contestant Curtis “C.J.” Harris’ Jan. 15 death was caused by a heart attack, a spokesperson for the...

Entertainment3 hours ago

‘Boy Meets World’ star Ben Savage files to run for Congress, potentially filling Rep. Adam Schiff’s seat

Actor Ben Savage appears to be considering a run for Congress, filing with the Federal Election Commission to potentially replace...

Entertainment3 hours ago

How Nick Viall Roped Tom Hanks into His Proposal to Fiancée Natalie Joy: ‘He Got a Kick Out of It’

Nick Viall went to great lengths to create a surprise proposal for his now-fiancée Natalie Joy. On Thursday’s episode of...

Entertainment3 hours ago

Folk-rock pioneer David Crosby dies at age 81 after long illness

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member David Crosby, founding member of the Byrds and Crosby Stills & Nash, performs...

Entertainment3 hours ago

Leslie Jordan’s cause of death revealed, 3 months after he died

Leslie Jordan helps announce the Oscar nominees in 2021. (Photo: Getty Images) Actor Leslie Jordan‘s official cause of death has...

Entertainment3 hours ago

Search for Julian Sands Continues as Rescuers Try to Track His Movements Using His Cellphone

Julian Sands Still Missing Nearly 1 Week After He Went Hiking on Deadly Mt. Baldy charley gallay/wireimage The search continues...

Entertainment5 hours ago

Will Alec Baldwin face jail time for involuntary manslaughter? Here’s what’s next in ‘Rust’ case

Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for Halyna Hutchins’s death. Here’s what that means. (Photo: WireImage) New Mexico...

Entertainment7 hours ago

Chrissy Teigen shares 1st photo of new daughter with John Legend: ‘Our family could not be happier’

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, at the Emmys in September, have shared the first photos of their new baby girl....

Advertisement

Latest Sports

Sports47 mins ago

Deion Sanders continues load up on talent at Colorado, adding 5-star cornerback Cormani McClain

For the second consecutive recruiting cycle, Deion Sanders has landed a commitment from the No. 1 cornerback in the country.

Sports1 hour ago

California wants to change college sports — again

A proposed bill in California would expand how athletes get paid. If it plays out anything like the start of...

Sports2 hours ago

Yes, the Eagles are that good; 49ers face one heck of a QB question; and Mike Tomlin loves playing on All-Madden

In the divisional round edition of Four Verts, Charles McDonald asks if the Giants have a chance, if the 49ers...

Sports2 hours ago

Vikings fire defensive coordinator Ed Donatell after 1 season, playoff loss

The Vikings were knocked out of the playoffs last weekend by the New York Giants.

Sports3 hours ago

49ers injury report: Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance making strides in recoveries

The 49ers' latest injury report includes big updates from Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Sports3 hours ago

Brett Maher had the ‘yips.’ Here’s how Cowboys plan to help their kicker before they face 49ers

On Tuesday morning in a meeting, the kicker was “distraught” after making inglorious history. Coaches agreed Maher’s concerns Monday night...

Sports4 hours ago

NHL rumor roundup: Wild interested in Luke Schenn, Bruins hone in on Bo Horvat

With the NHL trade deadline drawing closer, here are the latest rumblings and reports from around the league.

Sports4 hours ago

Reliever Aroldis Chapman inks deal with Royals, report says

Former Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman has reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with the Kansas...

Technology Hot News

Technology22 hours ago

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .. the technology giants are planning to lay off 64,000 employees

After 10 years of driving the stock market bull run, big tech companies are racing to downsize staff to adapt...

Technology1 day ago

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors

Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple unveiled MacBooks powered by the new, faster “M2 Pro” and “M2 Max” processor chips, in a surprise...

Technology2 days ago

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung

Samsung has officially announced that the (Galaxy Unpacked 2023) event will be held this year on Wednesday, February 1, which...

Technology2 days ago

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency

Bankrupt American cryptocurrency firm FTX announced today, Wednesday, that $415 million in cryptocurrency has been hacked and stolen from the...

Technology2 days ago

Because of a "fraudulent tweet"… Elon Musk's trial begins

Elon Musk's trial began Tuesday in San Francisco with the selection of jury members who will have to decide whether...

Technology2 days ago

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions

Experts have developed an electric spoon that is able to replace spices and flavors and affect the taste buds in...

Technology5 days ago

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.. so you can escape?

If you spot an unknown Bluetooth tagging device, there are ways to disable the device so it can't track your...

Technology5 days ago

New Twitter.. For You tab to web version

The Twitter platform announced that it will bring the new tab (For You), which launched last Tuesday for iPhones and...

Advertisement