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FBI’s Russia investigation now includes at least one current White House official: report

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The federal probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives has expanded to include a current White House official, the Washington Post reports.

A senior White House adviser—described by the Post as someone “close to the president”—is reportedly one of the subjects of the investigation, according to sources familiar with the probe. This is in addition to former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, who were previously identified as subjects of the investigation.

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The news comes after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special prosecutor to oversee the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination with Trump aides.

Last week, Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, in part because, “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” It was previously reported that Trump had asked for Comey’s “loyalty” and pressed the former FBI director to drop the investigation into Flynn, whom Trump describes as a “good guy.”

Friday, the New York Times reported Trump boasted about firing Comey to the Russian ambassador and Russian foreign minister during a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office last week.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I,” Trump said, according to an official White House document summarizing that meeting. “He was crazy, a real nut job… I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Trump also reportedly revealed highly classified information to those Russian officials during that meeting.

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WATCH: New Zealand prime minister unfazed as quake hits during an interview

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A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.

The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage. There was no tsunami warning.

But there was sustained shaking in Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed on breakfast television from parliament's Beehive building, which is designed to absorb seismic forces by swaying slightly on its foundations.

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US farmers are starting to worry as crop prices dip during COVID-19 crisis: ‘It’s kind of glum’

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Dave Burrier steered his tractor through a field, following a GPS map as he tried to plant as much corn as possible amid the yellow and green rye covering the ground.

Striving to get a massive yield out of his crops in rural Maryland is how Burrier hopes to make it through yet another uncertain year, beset by market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and renewed trade tensions between the United States and China.

"We've had so much price erosion that we're basically at below the cost of production. We've got to figure out how to manage and turn a profit," Burrier told AFP.

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‘It’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months’: Trump makes excuses for golfing during coronavirus pandemic

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President Donald Trump was blasted on Sunday for playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, a dramatic economic recession and after proclaiming churches "essential."

Instead of joining his voters sitting in the pews, Trump went for the links, which drew criticisms for the hypocrisy.

"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!" tweeted Trump.

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