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Friday, Feb 22nd

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Mueller says Manafort continued Ukraine work after 2017 indictment

Manafort still contacted Russian oligarch after 2017

A transcript from Paul Manafort's Monday hearing with prosecutors reveals that special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence Manafort continued doing work related to Ukraine in 2018, despite being indicted in October 2017 for charges that include failing to register as a foreign agent.

Details: During the 4-hour hearing, which was convened to discuss whether Manafort breached his plea deal by lying, a prosecutor called attention to Manafort's meetings with business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who is suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence. He alleges Manafort lied about how many times he discussed a redacted topic with Kilimnik — believed to be a Ukrainian peace plan — and that the two men discussed the matter as late as winter 2018.

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Saudis 'seriously undermined' Turkey's Khashoggi inquiry, says UN expert

UN expert condemn saudi arabia over Khashoggi murderThe Saudi regime “seriously curtailed and undermined” the Turkish investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, according to a UN human rights expert looking into the case.

Agnes Callamard, a UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said the Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist was the victim of a “brutal, premeditated killing planned and perpetrated by officials of the state of Saudi Arabia”.

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Amazon's Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Publisher of Blackmail

Jeff Bezos acceses nat'l enquirer of blackmailChief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos accused the National Enquirer and its owner David Pecker of extortion and blackmail.

The magazine published an expose of Bezos’s relationship with TV personality Lauren Sanchez, and Bezos has hired investigators to find out if the story was politically motivated. He owns the Washington Post, which has written critical stories about President Donald Trump, who counts Pecker as a close ally.

On Thursday, Bezos said that the National Enquirer threatened to publish more details and revealing photos if the executive didn’t stop the probe. A spokesman for American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The magazine investigated Bezos because his wealth and position made him a newsworthy subject, according an email from a lawyer for AMI that Bezos published on Thursday.

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Frank Robinson, Baseball Legend, Dead at 83

Frank Robinson, baseball legend, dead at 83

Frank Robinson was royalty, a legend in the world of baseball. Despite his tremendous accomplishments on and off the field, it was as if his monumental role in baseball history had been forgotten.

Maybe now, people will pay attention and realize that Frank Robinson was one of the most impactful figures in baseball history.

Robinson, a first-ballot Hall of Fame player who became the first African-American manager in baseball, died Thursday at the age of 83, according to Major League Baseball.

Robinson, who had been in hospice in Southern California for several months, was able to say farewell to many of his friends and family before his death.

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Trump Rules to Make It Easier for Gun Makers to Sell Semi-Automatics, Flamethrowers Overseas

Trump makes gun sales easier abroadNew Trump administration rules will make it easier for U.S. gun makers to export some of their products, including semi-automatic weapons, flamethrowers, and some types of grenades, NBC News reports.

The new rules, which are set to come into effect within a month, mean gun makers will no longer need licenses from the State Department to sell dozens of types of deadly weapons to overseas markets, including the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle that’s been used in some of America’s worst mass shootings.

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Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax's accuser details sexual assault allegation

Virginia Lt. Gov.'s accuser

The woman accusing Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of a sexual assault in 2004 detailed her allegation in a lengthy statement issued Wednesday through her legal team.

Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor of politics at Scripps College in California who is currently on leave, accused Fairfax of the sexual assault in a hotel room at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. She said Wednesday that she had pleasant interactions with Fairfax during the convention and that on its third day, he invited her to run an errand with him that involved them going to his hotel room.

It was there, Tyson said, that Fairfax kissed her. "Although surprised by his advance, it was not unwelcome and I kissed him back," she wrote. "He then took my hand and pulled me towards the bed. I was fully clothed in a pantsuit and had no intention of taking my clothes off or engaging in sexual activity."

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Paul Erickson, boyfriend of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina, indicted on fraud charges

Maria Butina boyfriend indictedPaul Erickson, a Republican operative who dated a woman accused of spying on the U.S. on behalf of Russia, was indicted on federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Erickson was indicted on Tuesday in South Dakota in what prosecutors described as a two-decades-long scheme to attract investors then use the cash to enrich himself.

He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 11 counts and was released on bond.

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Earth just experienced one of the warmest years on record

Global warming 2018Last year was the fourth-hottest year ever recorded, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, which means that the past five years have been the five warmest years in the modern record.

NOAA and NASA discussed 2018's global temperature and climate in a joint news conference Wednesday; both agencies maintain independent data that goes back to 1880 to monitor temperatures around the globe. The announcement was delayed several weeks due to the government shutdown that resulted in many NOAA and NASA employees being furloughed.

If it seems like you've heard this before, you have: Eighteen of the hottest 19 years have occurred since 2001.

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Trump Nominates Outspoken Critic David Malpass To Head World Bank

David Malpass appointed to head World Bank

President Trump has nominated Treasury Department official David Malpass, a vocal critic of the World Bank, to head the international financial institution.

Malpass, 62, is a conservative with longstanding ties to Trump. He once worked as chief economist at investment bank Bear Stearns, which collapsed in 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis. He also served in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. At Treasury, Malpass is currently involved in tense trade negotiations with China.

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