Tag Archives: WorldNews

Member of armed militia who detained migrants faced similar charges in 2006

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  • Larry Mitchell Hopkins held on Saturday in Texas
  • Earlier arrest involved impersonating a police officer

A member of an armed civilian group that has detained migrants near the US-Mexico border who was arrested on Saturday reportedly faced similar charges in Oregon 13 years ago.

Related: Videos appear to show armed militia detaining migrants at US-Mexico border

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Gaza Christians wait for permits to visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem at Easter

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Israel yet to approve applications after apparent shift in its decision to limit travel to over-55s

Hundreds of Palestinian Christians in Gaza are still anxiously waiting on Saturday to hear whether Israel would grant them exit permits in time to join Easter services in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

In previous years many, though not all, of Gaza’s 1,100-strong Christian minority have been granted exit permits to Jerusalem and the West Bank for worship and to visit relatives at Easter and Christmas. But last week the Israeli military announced that only 200 Christians over the age of 55 would be allowed to travel to Jordan – without stopping in Jerusalem.

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Robert De Niro calls Donald Trump a ‘wannabe gangster’

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Oscar-winning actor says US president has proven himself to be a ‘total loser’ with no morals

Robert De Niro has criticised Donald Trump again, calling the US president a “total loser” and “wannabe gangster”.

The actor has been involved in a long-running dispute with Trump, saying “fuck Trump” at the Tony awards last year.

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Tony Blair: migrants should be forced to integrate more to combat far right

It’s clear he has bought into the bigotry. Immigrants the world over, all try to “fit in” as quickly as they can without giving up their original culture. He shows he supports bigotry and wants another chance to screw up Britain.

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Former PM claims that ‘failure’ of multiculturalism has led to rise in bigotry

Migrant communities must be compelled to do more to integrate to help combat the rise of “far-right bigotry”, Tony Blair has warned.

The former prime minister said that successive governments had “failed to find the right balance between diversity and integration”, while the concept of multiculturalism has been misused as a way to justify a “refusal to integrate”.

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Mueller Went Looking for a Conspiracy, What He Found Was Conflict and a Cover-Up — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast

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by Katie Zavadski and Heather Vogell

On Thursday, the “Trump, Inc.” team gathered with laptops, pizza and Post-its to disconnect — and to read special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

What we found was page after page of jaw-dropping details about the inner workings of the administration of President Donald Trump, meetings with foreign officials and plots to affect our elections. But we also found rich details on how Trump ran his business dealings in Russia, itself the subject of our recent episode on his Moscow business partners.

It backed up a lot of our earlier reporting: The deal with Andrey Rozov, a relatively unknown developer whose claim to international prominence was the purchase of a building in Manhattan’s garment district, did go further than agreements with other developers. The type of development they were hoping for would need signoff from Russia’s powers that be — namely, President Vladimir Putin — potentially putting Trump in the position of owing favors to a hostile foreign power. And the deal went on longer than the Trump campaign wanted the public to know, with the then-candidate rebuffing Michael Cohen’s concerns about the accuracy of his portrayal of his relationships with Russia.

Here are a few of our takeaways:

The deal was bigger…

The Mueller report puts the terms of Trump’s most infamous Trump Tower deal side by side with a failed prior deal with the family of Russian pop star Emin Agalarov. In doing so, it proposes an answer to why Trump chose to move forward with Rozov: he offered Trump a much better deal.

In fact, Cohen said the tower overall “was potentially a $1 billion deal.” Under the terms of the agreement, the Trump Organization would get an upfront fee, a share of sales and rental revenue, and an additional 20% of the operating profit. The deal offered by the well-known Agalarov developers, in contrast, would have brought in a flat 3.5%. We’d tried to reach Rozov to talk about the deal for our earlier reporting. He never responded.

For Trump, this agreement promised to be the deal of a lifetime.

There were more Russian contacts…

The report says Cohen and Felix Sater, a fixer who brought the Trump Organization together with the potential developer for the Moscow deal, both believed securing Putin’s endorsement was key. There was also plenty of outreach from Russians, many of them offering to make that very connection.

But even as the two were figuring out how to pitch the tower plan to Putin, at least three intermediaries who claimed to have connections to the Russian president were reaching out to Trump and his associates. They promised help with Trump’s business interests and his campaign, the report says.

One was Dmitry Klokov, whom Cohen looked up online and mistakenly identified as a former Olympic weightlifter. Klokov, in fact, worked for a government-owned electric company and was a former aide to Russia’s energy minister. He told Cohen he could facilitate a meeting with a “person of interest” — that is, Putin — and also offered help creating “synergy on a government level.” But Klokov’s overtures for talks on matters beyond mere business interests were rebuffed by Cohen.

The report also clarified that it was Sater who approached the Russian developer with the idea of a Trump Tower Moscow — and later brought his pitch to the Trump Organization. This sequence of events raises new questions about whether the tower deal, which Trump had wanted for decades, was part of multiple intelligence approaches by the Russian government to Trump and his advisers at the time.

One other figure in our previous Trump Moscow episode surfaced again in the Mueller report: Yevgeny Dvoskin, a Russian national with a U.S. criminal record and alleged ties to organized crime. Dvoskin is now a part-owner of Genbank, a small Russian bank sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury. He grew up in Brighton Beach at the same time as Sater, who, in 2016, called on Dvoskin to invite Trump and Cohen to Russia for an exploratory visit. To arrange the invitation, Dvoskin asked for copies of Cohen’s and Trump’s passports, which Cohen was happy to provide. The Mueller report says that Trump’s personal assistant even brought Trump’s passport to Cohen’s office, but that it is not clear whether it was ever passed on to Sater.

Sater declined to comment for the podcast. Genbank and Dvoskin did not respond to earlier requests for comment.

And there was more cover-up…

Mueller describes continued efforts to mislead investigators and the public about the Trump Moscow deal and associates’ contacts with Russian officials. Many of the details are gleaned from Cohen’s cooperation.

Cohen confronted Trump after he denied having business ties to Russia in July 2016 and pointed out that Trump Tower Moscow was still in play. “Trump told Cohen that Trump Tower Moscow was not a deal yet and said, ‘Why mention it if it is not a deal?’” according to the Mueller report.

To maintain Cohen’s loyalty during the investigation, multiple Trump staff members and friends told him the “boss” “loves you,” according to the Mueller report. “You are loved,” another associate told him in an email. Cohen also said the president’s lawyer told him he’d be protected as long as he didn’t go “rogue.”

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Stay up to date with email updates from WNYC and ProPublica about their ongoing investigations.

The report concludes that active negotiations in Moscow continued into the summer of 2016. Cohen told Mueller’s team that the project wasn’t officially dead until January 2017, when it was listed with other deals that needed to be “closed out” ahead of the inauguration.

After admitting to lying to Congress about when the Moscow deal fizzled, Cohen told Mueller about the “script,” or talking points he’d developed with Trump to downplay his ties to Russia. He also said he believed lawyers associated with his joint defense agreement — including attorneys for the president — edited out a key line about communications with Russia from his congressional testimony. The offending line: “The building project led me to make limited contacts with Russian government officials.”

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Sarah Sanders reiterates Comey claims despite admitting to lying

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Press secretary defended past statements she made in an interview on Friday that Mueller’s team said had ‘no basis in fact’

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, has defended claims she repeatedly made to reporters in 2017 regarding Donald Trump’s firing of then FBI director James Comey – despite admitting to investigators for the special counsel Robert Mueller that they had no basis in fact.

Sanders admitted in statements to the special counsel that her repeated claims that the president fired Comey because the rank-and-file of the FBI had lost confidence in him as FBI director were “a slip of the tongue” and “not founded on anything”, according to the redacted version of the Mueller report released on Thursday.

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Jeremy Hunt raises plight of Christians in Easter message

New Brit Brownshirt arising!

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Foreign secretary also defends austerity as Tory leadership race heats up

Jeremy Hunt has raised the plight of persecuted Christians around the world in an Easter message, after launching a trenchant defence of the Conservatives’ economic record following criticism from Jeremy Corbyn.

The foreign secretary, who is expected to be in the running to succeed Theresa May as Tory leader, has written 40 letters to Christian individuals and faith groups to mark the end of Lent.

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