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Mueller report: After long-awaited release, what comes next for investigations into Trump?The ongoing Democrat-led Congressional investigations into Donald Trump are determined to unravel the conspiracy behind the stealing of Clinton campaign emails and the alleged part played in that incident by WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, according to diplomatic sources.The inquiry by the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee is said to be particularly focused on how the emails, as well as those of the Democratic National Committee, were hacked and made public, gravely damaging Hillary Clinton’s campaign and helping Donald Trump to the White House.The report into Trump and Russia by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is due to be made public, with redactions by Attorney General William Barr, on Thursday. However, a number of inquiries, by state prosecutors as well as Congressional Committees, will continue into various accusations against the President, including alleged collusion with the Kremlin.Assange, who was arrested last week after Ecuador withdrew his asylum status and he was expelled from the country’s embassy in London, is now facing extradition to the US over the hacking and dissemination of US intelligence and defence documents in 2010.However the Justice Department can add further charges if and when Assange is sent back to America. The WikiLeaks founder may also face an investigation into alleged sexual assault in Sweden, although no request for extradition has come so far from authorities in Stockholm.Last July the US Justice Department charged 12 Russian military intelligence officers, from the GRU, with carrying out the hacking of the emails with the indictment stating that they had been in contact with WikiLeaks.A number of people close to Trump are said to have been in touch with Assange over the emails. The most high profile of this group, Roger Stone, a long-term close advisor to the US president, was arrested in January as part of Mueller’s investigation.The Special Counsel’s indictment states that during the election campaign, Stone talked regularly to Trump officials about the information WikiLeaks, called “ Organisation 1” in the document, possessed which would be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.In August 2016 Stone reportedly emailed Sam Nunberg, another Trump advisor, that he was communicating with Assange “through an intermediary, who is a personal friend”. He tweeted a few days later “Julian Assange is a hero”. A few days later he added “I actually have communicated with Assange, I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation ...”The House Intelligence Committee, according to sources, is looking at attempts made by Stone to secure a presidential pardon for Assange were he to be extradited to the US. In text messages which have emerged, Stone told a friend, Randy Credico, in January: “I am working with others to get JA a blanket pardon. It’s a very real possibility…”Stone, in an email to Mother Jones magazine, confirmed: “I most definitely advocated a pardon for Assange”.Credico, who Stone claims was his contact with Assange, claimed that the WikiLeaks founder asked him to set up a meeting with Schiff to prove there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Schiff’s office responded: “Our Committee would be willing to interview Julian Assange when he is in US custody, not before.”Credico has since retracted his claims about Assange and he and Stone have accused each other of lying.However Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time personal lawyer and confidante, had also claimed that the US president knew that Stone was in communication with Assange.Speaking to a Congressional inquiry, Cohen described a speakerphone conversation in which: “Mr Stone told Mr Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr Assange told Mr Stone that within a couple of days there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr Trump responded by stating to the effect ‘Wouldn’t that be great’”.Schiff had said that allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks was “a very important investigative thread,” his Committee will pursue.WikiLeaks has denied any collusion between itself and Assange with Russia or the Trump campaign. Trump, who praised WikiLeaks dozens of time during the election campaign, saying repeatedly “I love WikiLeaks”, has since tried to claim, after Assange’s arrest, that “I know nothing about WikiLeaks.”Philip Lacovara, a lawyer on the Watergate prosecution team which investigated Richard Nixon and his associates, told Politico that Assange’s arrest has “reopened the Russia collusion affair.”He added the “Department of Justice evidently retains considerable interest in the information Assange can supply. He knows where the hacked DNC emails came from, and he knows when and how the Trump campaign learned about this treasure trove of political dirt. He also knows whether the Trump campaign coordinated the timing of leaks for political advantage. He is also likely to know whether anyone from the Trump campaign actively solicited additional hacking.”

4/17/2019 9:37:57 AM

Man accused of tossing boy off Mall of America balcony ordered held without bondIn his first court appearance since Friday's incident, when he allegedly dropped the boy nearly 40 feet (12 meters), Emmanuel Aranda was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder, Hennepin County Attorney's office spokesman Chuck Laszewski said. Prosecutors had asked for bail to be set at $2 million, but Hennepin Country District Court Judge Jeannice Reding reserved her decision on the request, ordering Aranda held in lieu of $2 million bond until a May 14 hearing, Laszewski said. Aranda, 24, who lives in Minneapolis, did not enter a plea, Laszewski added.

4/16/2019 5:38:00 PM

Hybrids vs. Plug-In HybridsHere are the differences between these two types of complex automobiles and the pros and cons of each.

4/16/2019 10:01:00 AM

Democrats condemn attorney general's plan for rollout of Mueller reportAttorney general has sought to ‘put his own spin’ on special counsel’s report, say lawmakers before report’s release * Mueller report released – live updates * Support the Guardian’s independent journalism and make a contributionJerry Nadler, chairman of the House judiciary committee, at the press conference. Photograph: Frank Franklin II/APOn the eve of the long-anticipated release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller on Russian tampering in the 2016 election and alleged Trump campaign involvement, Democrats accused the attorney general, William Barr, of trying to “cherry-pick” and “put his own spin” on the conclusions of the investigation.Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House judiciary committee, appeared with colleagues at a press conference in New York City late Wednesday to protest against Barr’s plan for rolling out a redacted version of the Mueller report.Barr is scheduled to hold a 9.30am press conference on Thursday. Nadler tweeted on Wednesday that the justice department informed him that Congress would receive the report around 11am or noon, after which it would be posted online.That plan amounted to an effort by Barr to put up a smokescreen to obscure the true findings of the report, Nadler charged.“Now it appears that the attorney general intends to once again put his own spin on the investigative work completed by the special counsel and his team,” Nadler said.“The fact that the attorney general is not releasing even the redacted report to Congress until after his press conference will again result in the report being presented in his own words, rather than in the words of special counsel Robert Mueller.“The central concern here is that Attorney General Barr is not allowing the facts of the Mueller report to speak for themselves, but is instead trying to bake in the narrative about the report to the benefit of the White House.”Nadler said he would subpoena the full report “in very short order” and said he assumed it would be useful to call Mueller and members of his team to testify before Congress.The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, argued Americans deserved to see the truth, “not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin”.“AG Barr has thrown out his credibility”, she added.> AG Barr has thrown out his credibility & the DOJ’s independence with his single-minded effort to protect @realDonaldTrump above all else. The American people deserve the truth, not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin.> > — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 17, 2019Democratic House committee leaders followed by asking Barr to cancel his scheduled morning address. “This press conference, which apparently will not include Special Counsel Mueller, is unnecessary and inappropriate, and appears designed to shape public perceptions of the report before anyone can read it”, they wrote.“[Barr] should let the full report speak for itself. The attorney general should cancel the press conference and provide the full report to Congress, as we have requested”, they added.The justice department also plans to provide a “limited number” of members of Congress and their staff access to a copy of the Mueller report with fewer redactions than the public version, according to a court filing Wednesday.The nearly 400-page report is expected to reveal what Mueller uncovered about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that fell short of criminal conduct. It will also lay out the special counsel’s conclusions about formative episodes in Trump’s presidency, including his firing of the FBI director James Comey and his efforts to undermine the Russia investigation publicly and privately.The report is not expected to place the president in legal jeopardy, as Barr made his own decision that Trump should not be prosecuted for obstruction. But it is likely to contain unflattering details about the president’s efforts to control the Russia investigation that will cloud his ability to credibly claim total exoneration.And it may paint the Trump campaign as eager to exploit Russian aid and emails stolen from Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign even if no Americans crossed the line into criminal activity.The report’s release will be a test of Barr’s credibility as the public and Congress judge whether he is using his post to shield the president who appointed him.Trump announced Barr’s press conference during a radio interview Wednesday before the justice department did. Trump also said he might take questions about the report after its release.Barr will also face scrutiny over how much of the report he blacks out and whether Mueller’s document lines up with a letter the attorney general released last month. The letter said Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government but he found evidence on “both sides” of the question of whether the president obstructed justice.Barr has said he is withholding grand jury and classified information as well as portions relating to continuing investigations and the privacy or reputation of uncharged “peripheral” people. But how liberally he interprets those categories is yet to be seen.

4/17/2019 6:55:58 PM

Ocasio-Cortez backs boycott of New York Post over cover attacking Ilhan OmarThe freshman Democrat voices her support for a boycott of one of her hometown newspapers.

4/16/2019 3:48:42 PM

Notre Dame's Bell Towers Would Have Fallen Without Swift Action, Paris Fire Officials SayFirefighters who rushed to Notre Dame after flames engulfed the cathedral were focused on saving its famed bell towers

4/17/2019 8:56:03 AM

Instagram accounts of Iran Guards commanders blockedThe Instagram accounts of several Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders have been blocked, the Tabnak news website reported Tuesday, with the photo-sharing website saying it was complying with US sanctions. The United States announced on April 8 that it has placed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the ideological army of the Islamic republic, on their list of "foreign terrorist organisations". Tabnak, a site close to Iranian conservatives, said Instagram blocked the accounts of Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Major General Mohammad Bagheri and Major General Ghassem Soleimani.

4/16/2019 6:29:52 PM

Porsche Collection Destroyed in ExplosionA large explosion rocked Durham, North Carolina on 10 April 2019, something that sadly claimed the life of one individual and injured 15. The building itself also contained one of America’s largest Porsche collections according to the Charlotte Observer. The rather unassuming red brick building didn’t boast about the treasures within, but video from the Charlotte Observer revealed a huge hole in the roof and the charred remains of what appears to be a 550 Spyder amongst other less identifiable wreckage.

4/17/2019 6:56:27 AM

Teenage girl 'infatuated' with Columbine school massacre found dead from self-inflicted gunshotAn armed 18-year-old girl "infatuated" with the Columbine school massacre was found dead after fears she was seeking to replicate the shooting 20 years on. Sol Pais, a high school pupil, made threats online and then flew from her home in Miami Beach, Florida to Denver, Colorado, where Columbine is located. She then bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition and was seen near the school wearing camouflage trousers, black boots and a black T-shirt. Columbine and more than 20 other schools in the Denver area were closed on Wednesday, with 500,000 pupils staying at home as the FBI and police searched for her. She was later found dead from what police called an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound" in woodland near a camp ground 60 miles southwest of Denver. Police, including a SWAT team, had flooded into the area after hikers reported seeing a naked woman with a gun running through the woods". An FBI spokesman said: "There is no longer a threat to the community." Police at Columbine high school Credit: AFP On April 20,1999 two heavily armed teenage gunmen -  Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - killed 12 fellow pupils and a teacher before taking their own lives. It set off an era of mass shootings in American schools and other public venues. Police said Pais had "made threats to commit an act of violence" in the Denver area, and had written "deeply disturbed" posts on the internet. She had been "infatuated with the perpetrators of Columbine". She sought advice online on how to buy a gun in Colorado, which she did at a gun shop near Columbine. Local sheriff Jeff Shrader said: "The firearm was purchased legally. I'm sure there will be some ongoing evaluation in that regard." During the massive search police declared her "armed and extremely dangerous". Jared Polis, the Colorado governor, said there had been "a lot of anxiety". Peter Langman, an expert on the psychology of school shooters, said more than 30 other attacks, from California to Germany, have been inspired in some manner by Columbine.

4/17/2019 1:30:46 PM

Parents of Swedish coder held by Ecuador say he is innocentQUITO, Ecuador (AP) — The parents of a Swedish programmer suspected of plotting to blackmail Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno over his abandonment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made an anxious plea Tuesday for authorities to release their son.

4/16/2019 1:43:49 PM

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