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At least 2 dead in New York City’s East River helicopter crash

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At least two people died late Sunday when the helicopter they were riding in crashed into Manhattan’s East River, officials said.

The red chopper, owned by tourism group Liberty and carrying six people including the pilot, fell into the river near the upscale Upper East Side neighborhood around 90th Street shortly after 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) at the end of a sunny day.

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“The pilot freed himself, the other five did not,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters during a brief press conference.

“We are told the five people were all tied tightly in harnesses that had to be cut and removed.”

Divers rushed to the scene and freed the passengers, two of whom were pronounced dead, amid strong currents and frigid temperatures, Nigro added.

The other three were taken to hospital in critical condition.

Liberty organizes aerial tours of America’s financial capital. Police chief James O’Neill said the aircraft had been leased by photographers.

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New York 1 television, citing police sources, reported that five of the six people flying in the helicopter had died, with only the pilot surviving.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but local media indicated the pilot had sent a distress signal that mentioned an engine problem shortly before the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

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Why was Lev Parnas wearing a ‘Presidential Service Badge’ awarded to troops who serve in the White House?

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman posted a fascinating update about a photo of impeachment figure Lev Parnas.

The photo shows Igor Fruman -- who, like Parnas, is under federal indictment -- sitting closely next to Rudy Giuliani and Parnas.

Haber said a source informed her that in the picture, Parnas can be seen wearing a "Presidential Service Badge," linking to the Wikipedia entry on the pin.

"The Presidential Service Badge (PSB) is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States," Wikipedia explained.

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Trump’s big-money Florida fundraiser expected to bring in $10 million — from only 100 people

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President Donald Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago on Friday after receiving a formal summons from the U.S. Senate informing him of his impeachment trial.

The president will be attending a Friday evening campaign fundraiser.

The recipient of the money is Trump Victory, which is a joint fundraising committee set up by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.

“Tonight’s Trump Victory fundraiser is expected to raise $10 million with approximately 100 people in attendance," the campaign told the White House pool reporter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1218264289225728000

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Lev Parnas has Trump ‘unnerved’: ex-FBI official says the president doesn’t know what he ‘has up his sleeve’

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President Donald Trump is "very nervous" about what Lev Parnas may have on him, a former top FBI official suggested on MSNBC on Friday.

Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence was interviewed by MSNBC's Peter Alexander.

The host played clips of Trump denying any relationship with Parnas.

"Well, I don't know him, I don't know Lev Parnas, other than I guess I had pictures taken -- which I do with thousands of people," Trump argued. "I don't know him at all, don't know what he's about, don't where he comes from. I can tell you this -- I don't know him. I don't believe I've ever spoken to him. I don't believe I've ever spoken to him."

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