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Attorney Alex Van der Zwaan pleads guilty in Mueller probe of Trump-Russia collusion

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A London-based attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon in the special probe of Trump campaign ties to Russia, according to CNN’s Marshall Cohen.

Alex Van der Zwaan admitted to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators and FBI agents about his contacts with a former Trump campaign associate and another person about his work for Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko.

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The attorney was hired by Paul Manafort more than five years ago to draft a report for his pro-Kremlin client Viktor Yanukovych to justify the jailing of a political rival.

Van der Zwaan, whose father-in-law German Khan was named in the Steele dossier, pleaded guilty to lying about the last time he’d spoken with Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign associate and longtime Manafort lieutenant, and a second, unnamed person.

Court documents show Van der Zwaan said he last spoke with Person A in 2014, when they discussed the unnamed person’s family, but investigators say the attorney recorded a phone call between the pair in September 2016 about legal work for Tymoshenko.

Van der Zwaan was accused of secretly recording that call and destroying a follow-up email that same month.

He was also accused of lying to FBI and special counsel investigators about his last conversation with Gates, in mid-August 2016.

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Van der Zwaan was charged Friday, the same day Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies in connection with efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election.

Gates is expected to plead guilty to money laundering and other charges in the probe.


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New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern

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New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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2020 Election

Android phones to get ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warnings — and phones may double as tremor detectors

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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.

ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.

"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’

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President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.

At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."

After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack:

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