TRUMP LAWYER-INVESTIGATION Cohen, Trump’s ex-lawyer, admits lies about Russian deal WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, confessed in a surprise guilty plea that he lied to Congress about a Moscow real…
Cohen, Trump’s ex-lawyer, admits lies about Russian deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, confessed in a surprise guilty plea that he lied to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal he pursued on Trump’s behalf during the heat of the 2016 Republican campaign. He said he lied to be consistent with Trump’s “political messaging.”
The plea agreement announced Thursday made clear that prosecutors believe that while Trump insisted repeatedly throughout the campaign that he had no business dealings in Russia, his lawyer was continuing to pursue the Trump Tower Moscow project weeks after his boss had clinched the Republican nomination for president.
Cohen said he discussed the proposal with Trump on multiple occasions and with members of the president’s family, according to legal documents.
As G-20 summit opens, contentious issues loom on sidelines
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Heads of state from the world’s leading economies were invited to the Group of 20 summit to discuss development, infrastructure and investment. As the gathering officially kicks off Friday, those themes seem like afterthoughts, overshadowed by contentious matters from the U.S.-China trade dispute to the conflict over Ukraine.
Also expected to loom large are tensions between longtime allies the United States and Europe, the gruesome slaying of a dissident Saudi journalist and how the Saudi crown prince who is alleged to have ordered the killing is received by world leaders.
The U.S., Canada and Mexico also are supposed to sign a trade deal replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement that was struck following months of tough negotiations that analysts say left a bitter taste among the partners.
Trump barrels into G-20 summit after nixing Putin meeting
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — President Trump kicks off two days of diplomacy at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina on Friday after his abrupt decision to cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin overshadowed the proceedings before they even started.
Trump barreled into the two-day meeting by announcing via Twitter that he was canceling on Putin over Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels. His agenda Friday is expected to include meetings with world leaders, the signing of a revamped trade deal with Canada and Mexico, as well as a number of group activities for the gathering of rich and developing nations.
Coming into this G-20, Trump faces a series of diplomatic challenges — most notably whether he can strike an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) to ease trade tensions.
CHINA-BIG BROTHER MOVES IN
Uninvited guests keep watch for China inside Uighur homes
ISTANBUL (AP) — The Chinese government has launched a program in its far west which analysts say effectively puts informants inside living rooms, dining areas and prayer spaces, not to mention at funerals, weddings and other occasions once considered intimate and private.
The ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper said last month that 1.1 million civil servants are participating in an initiative which the government says will alleviate poverty and foster ethnic unity between the majority Han Chinese and Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.
The Associated Press spoke to five Uighurs living in exile in Istanbul who shared the experience of family members who have had to host Han Chinese civil servants in Xinjiang.
Interviewees said their loved ones saw the homestay program as a chilling intrusion into their personal lives.
GENE EDITED BABIES-REALITY CHECK
Fear that uproar over gene-edited babies could block science
WASHINGTON (AP) — The uproar over the reported births of gene-edited babies in China has scientists on the frontiers of medicine worried about a backlash.
Researchers are rapidly learning how to edit DNA to fight diseases such as Huntington’s or Tay-Sachs. They’re conducting legally permissible experiments in lab animals and petri dishes without taking the ultimate step of creating babies.
International guidelines say more of that basic research is critical to eventually proving whether gene editing is safe enough to ever test in a human pregnancy. A Chinese researcher ignored those guidelines, claiming twin girls were born this month from embryos he edited.
Researchers say if the outcry results in more research restrictions, it could seriously set back a field that offers hope to families with some currently untreatable conditions.
California floods recede after storms in wildfire burn areas
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Flash flood waters receded after heavy downpours inundated roads and forced evacuations in a wildfire-scarred area of Northern California.
Swift water rescue teams used boats to save people from three homes Thursday in Chico.
Officials told people in about 100 vehicles to stay in place until water levels went down. Streets were filled with sticky mud and debris and downed trees and power poles littered the landscape.
In Southern California, authorities ordered evacuations in a small Malibu community within a wildfire burn zone where a mudslide blocked streets amid the heavy rains.
No major damage was reported by the time flood warnings and watches expired.
IMMIGRATION-TEEN DETENTION CAMP
Lawmakers call for detention camp reforms
Lawmakers Thursday called for stricter background checks, more mental health support and a public hearing to further investigate problems at a massive detention camp for migrant teens raised by a federal watchdog report and an Associated Press investigation earlier this week.
More than 2,300 teens are being held at the remote tent city in Tornillo, Texas. It opened in June as a temporary, emergency shelter but now appears to be becoming more permanent, the AP reported Tuesday.
The Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General has raised concerns that the private contractor running Tornillo has not put its 2,100 staffers through FBI background checks, and have just one mental health clinician for every 100 children.
House Democrats are calling for a public hearing early next year.
Weinstein’s lawyers urge dismissal of sexual assault case
NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer says his sexual assault case has devolved into a mess of lying witnesses and hidden evidence and should be thrown out.
In a court filing Thursday, lawyer Benjamin Brafman said defense investigators had turned up evidence raising doubts about Weinstein’s accusers.
He says the defense spoke to a friend of one accuser who said the alleged victim and Weinstein had been “hooking up” consensually for a long time.
Brafman says the friend felt pressured to corroborate the woman’s rape allegation but “declined to make up a story.”
Weinstein’s side also believes that police set up a phone call between the film producer and one of his accusers shortly before his arrest, but that it failed to produce incriminating evidence.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment.
Cowboys stifle Brees, end Saints’ 10-game win streak, 13-10
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ezekiel Elliott scored the only Dallas touchdown and the Cowboys stifled Drew Brees and the Saints, ending New Orleans’ 10-game winning streak with a 13-10 victory Thursday night.
The Cowboys (7-5) won their fourth consecutive game and assured they will at least remain tied for the NFC East lead.
The Saints (10-2) had a season low in points while missing on a chance to perfectly match Dallas from two years ago, when then-rookie sensations Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott won 11 straight after dropping the opener.
Brees had his fewest yards passing in a half since joining the Saints in 2006 with 39, and couldn’t get a potential winning drive going in the final minutes.
Instead, Jourdan Lewis’ interception — just the third of the season for Brees — gave the Cowboys a chance to run out the clock from the New Orleans 1 after an interference penalty in the end zone.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
The Latest: Ukraine bars entry to Russian men from 16 to 60
MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine’s president says that the country has barred Russian men between 16 and 60 from traveling to the country.
The move comes as the long-simmering conflict between the two nations escalated in the Black Sea on Sunday. Russian border guards opened fire on and captured three Ukrainian vessels and their 24-member crew.
President Petro Poroshenko tweeted Friday that the restrictions on Russian travelers have been taken in order to prevent the Russians from forming “private armies” fighting on Ukrainian soil.
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