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Senior Vatican cleric denies money-laundering and corruption accusations

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A senior Catholic cleric arrested as part of a sweeping probe of the scandal-plagued Vatican bank rejected accusations of money-laundering and corruption on Monday, Italian media reported.

Nunzio Scarano, 61, who was arrested Friday along with a former Italian spy and a financer for allegedly plotting to smuggle millions of euros into Italy, “strongly reaffirms his morality,” his lawyers were reported as saying.

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“He has defended himself and we have requested he be moved to house arrest somewhere where he can celebrate mass,” media quoted lawyers Francesco Caroleo Grimaldi, Silverio Sica and Luca Paternostro as saying, following a three-hour meeting with their client and judge Barbara Callari in Rome.

Scarano “is not well, he is very tried and is not sleeping well,” they said.

Scarano, known as “monsignor” in recognition of his seniority at the Holy See, was arrested after an investigation into the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) — as the Vatican bank is known — raised suspicions he was involved in money laundering.

Rome prosecutor Nello Rossi said he plotted to fly dirty money into Italy on a private jet.

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The senior cleric was suspended about a month ago from his position as a member of the administration known as APSA that manages the Vatican’s assets, after his superiors learnt about an investigation into his activities.

Scarano, who had worked for years as a senior accountant for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), is currently being held in Rome’s Regina Coeli prison.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘It is all crazy’: CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin goes off on people who try to insist Trump’s rants are just jokes

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scorned the idea from President Donald Trump's defenders that rants like his recent anointment of himself as "the chosen one" are made in jest, for entertainment value.

"One of the strange things about President Trump is that nobody has ever seen him laugh, like a full laugh on camera," said Toobin. "Think about it. You never see it. And this notion of explaining crazy things he says as jokes is not — that is just not true. He does not joke. When he said 'Russia, you know, I want you to find Hillary Clinton's emails,' they tried to explain it as a joke. It wasn't. Russia went right to work trying to find Hillary's emails."

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Trump’s DOJ sent white nationalist blog post to judges — complete with anti-Semitic attacks

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On Thursday, BuzzFeed News reported that the Department of Justice sent a virulently racist blog post to immigration judges, from the infamous white nationalist blog VDare.

VDare, named after the first English child born in a New World possession, is known for peddling virulent racism. Its contributors have claimed that "America was defined — almost explicitly, sometimes very explicitly — as a white nation, for white people" and that "Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies."

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Donald Trump’s tax cut was even worse than we thought

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From the moment it was proposed, the Republicans’ 2017 tax cut law was criticized for benefiting corporations and wealthy Americans. doing comparatively little for low-income Americans, and needlessly blowing a hole in the federal deficit.

About a year and a half since its passage, the criticisms are looking apt. And none of the supposed benefits promised by Republicans — moderate and extremist alike — have materialized. No boom in business investment, no supercharged wages, and no phenomenal jobs growth.

In fact, as new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act appears to have done even less on the “jobs” side of the equation than we previously thought.

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