Brittney Griner

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Family Worried After Calls From Paul Whelan Stop

Russian prisoner told family to raise alarm after 3 days of silence; it's now been a week

(Newser) - The family of Russian prisoner Paul Whelan says they're unsure of his whereabouts after being told that he was moved to a prison hospital. Whelan, one of the Americans included in a proposed prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, is serving 16 years in prison in Russia...

Russia Says Inmate Swap Has Become More Likely

A day after Griner is put in a penal colony, diplomat expresses confidence about getting arms dealer back

(Newser) - A Russian official said Friday that the likelihood of a prisoner exchange with the US has improved, a day after his government imprisoned American athlete Brittney Griner in a penal colony. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia wants a trade that would have the US return arms trafficker Viktor...

Griner Begins Serving Term at Notorious Penal Colony

Athlete's lawyers say they've visited her there

(Newser) - Brittney Griner has started to serve her sentence at an infamous Russian penal colony, her legal team said Thursday. The basketball star has been moved to the IK-2 female penal colony, which has a reputation for unsanitary and harsh conditions, the Wall Street Journal reports. The penal colony, where the...

Biden: Putin Might Talk 'Seriously' on Griner With Election Over

He takes questions on Ukraine, Musk, China during post-midterms press conference

(Newser) - After delivering remarks on what he called a "strong night" for Democrats in the midterm elections, President Biden spent around 40 minutes Wednesday answering more than two dozen questions from journalists, including one on American basketball star Brittney Griner, who has been moved to a penal colony in Russia....

US Diplomats Meet With Brittney Griner

Administration says Russia still refuses US offer for 2 Americans being held

(Newser) - Officials from the US Embassy in Moscow were able to meet Thursday with Brittney Griner, the American WNBA star imprisoned in Russia, for the first time in months. The meeting was confirmed by the State Department, the Washington Post reports. "We are told she's doing as well as...

How Brittney Griner Is Feeling as Her Appeal Looms
Russian Court Doesn't
Give Griner a Break

Russian Court Doesn't Give Griner a Break

WNBA star's appeal is rejected

(Newser) - Update: To nobody's surprise, a Russian court rejected the appeal of WNBA star Brittney Griner on Tuesday. The decision means her nine-year sentence for drug possession stands, though it will be "slightly decreased" based on her time already spent in custody, reports CNN . The upshot of Tuesday's...

Wife: Griner Is at Her 'Absolute Weakest Moment'

Cherelle Griner hopes Vladimir Putin will have mercy

(Newser) - Brittney Griner is at her "absolute weakest moment in life," according to wife Cherelle Griner, who fears the woman she calls "BG" is losing hope of returning home. "She's very afraid about being left and forgotten in Russia, or just completely used to the point...

Biden: US Prisoner Swap Required 'Difficult Decisions'

US frees Afghan drug lord in exchange for American Mark Frerichs

(Newser) - Update: The White House acknowledged and hailed the release of American hostage Mark Frerichs from Afghanistan on Monday. "Bringing the negotiations that led to Mark’s freedom to a successful resolution required difficult decisions, which I did not take lightly," said President Biden in a statement, per USA ...

Biden to Meet With Families of Griner, Whelan

Both are jailed in Russia

(Newser) - President Biden plans to meet at the White House on Friday with family members of WNBA star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan , both of whom remain jailed in Russia, senior administration officials told the AP . The separate meetings are to be the first in-person encounter between...

Rodman: 'I Got Permission to Go to Russia to Help That Girl'

NBA legend hopes to leave this week to advocate for Brittney Griner's release

(Newser) - NBA alum Dennis Rodman says he's received permission to go to Russia to appeal for the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and could depart soon. "I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl. I'm trying to go this week," he told NBC...

Brittney Griner Is 'Quite Shocked'
Brittney Griner
Appeals Her Sentence

Brittney Griner Appeals Her Sentence

Her lawyers in Russia make move amid talks on a possible prisoner swap

(Newser) - (Updated to reflect her appeal.) Lawyers for Brittney Griner have formally appealed her nine-year sentence for drug smuggling in Russia, reports CNN . The WNBA's star's legal team has said the sentence was unusually harsh given the relatively small amount of drugs involved—cannabis oil in vape cartridges....

Russia Warns Against 'Megaphone Diplomacy' in Griner Case

Officials say prisoner swap must be discussed privately

(Newser) - The first rule of prisoner exchanges is apparently not to talk about prisoner exchanges, according to statements from Russian officials after the sentencing of Brittney Griner. Officials say they're ready to talk about a prisoner exchange for the American basketball star in private, but it's not going to...

Biden: Griner Sentence 'Unacceptable'

President calls on Russia to release the WNBA star immediately

(Newser) - The trial of WNBA star Brittney Griner in Russia ended pretty much the way everyone expected it would on Thursday—with a guilty verdict and a nine-year sentence in a penal colony. Afterward, President Biden denounced the sentence on drug charges. "It's unacceptable, and I call on Russia...

Griner Convicted of Drug Charges in Russian Court
Brittney Griner
Sentenced in Russia

Brittney Griner Sentenced in Russia

WNBA star gets 9 years after being found guilty on drug charges

(Newser) - Updated with new details throughout. Brittney Griner has been convicted on drug possession charges in Russia and sentenced to nine years in prison, reports the AP . Before the verdict, an emotional Griner apologized Thursday for her actions, with a prosecutor urging that the American basketball star be convicted and sentenced...

Brittney Griner to Learn Her Fate Within Hours

Russian prosecutors request 9.5-year sentence for WNBA star

(Newser) - Brittney Griner is expected to learn her fate in her drug smuggling case within hours, and Russian prosecutors have made clear they want it to be a harsh one. Prosecutors on Thursday asked a judge to sentence Griner to 9.5 years in prison, just shy of the 10-year maximum,...

This Is the Russian on Offer in Exchange for Britney Griner

Viktor Bout, former Soviet military translator, could pass on intelligence, says pundit

(Newser) - The imprisoned Russian arms dealer the Biden administration has reportedly offered to swap for Russian detainees Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan is known here as the "Merchant of Death." Viktor Bout—who reportedly inspired Nicolas Cage's arms dealer character in 2005's Lord of War—is serving...

US Suggests Trade to Russia for Griner, Whelan

Blinken says he hopes to discuss the deal with Lavrov this week

(Newser) - The Biden administration has settled on a proposal for Russia, offering to trade an imprisoned Russian arms trafficker for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. President Biden has agreed to the exchange of detainees, which has been under discussion for months, despite the Justice Department's opposition to such deals, CNN...

Brittney Griner Cites Lack of Translation in Interrogation

She says that much of what was said during her interrogation wasn't translated for her

(Newser) - American basketball star Brittney Griner was back in a Russian court on Wednesday, where she appeared as a witness in her case for the first time. Griner testified about her experience of being arrested at a Moscow airport on Feb. 17 after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in...

Moscow to US: Back Off on Brittney Griner

Official says America must respect Russian drug laws

(Newser) - The US considers WNBA star Brittney Griner to be "wrongfully detained" by Russia. On Thursday, a Russian official scolded the US over that characterization and said America must respect Russia's laws, reports the AP . “If a US citizen was taken in connection with the fact that she...

Griner's Lawyers Show Court a Doctor's Note

In letter, doctor recommended WNBA star use medical cannabis for pain

(Newser) - Brittney Griner's trial resumed in Khimki, Russia, on Friday, and a key defense argument tied her apparent use of vape cartridges to her health. Reuters reports that in the fourth hearing for the WNBA star, her lawyers told the court that Griner had been authorized to use medical cannabis...

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