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Judge to rule on bid to dismiss criminal case against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

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A St. Louis judge is expected to rule on Thursday on a request by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ lawyers to dismiss a criminal invasion of privacy case brought against the politician in connection with an admitted extramarital affair.

The Republican governor’s legal team last week accused St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, of prosecutorial misconduct, saying she tried to conceal video evidence supporting the governor and his assertions that the affair was entirely consensual.

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The videotape in question is of a nine-hour deposition interview of the woman at the center of the scandal, a hair stylist identified in court documents only as “K.S.,” conducted by Gardner and her investigator in January.

Greitens’ lawyers say prosecutors deliberately withheld the tape from the defense until just after a special Missouri state legislative panel issued a report last week detailing the woman’s sworn allegations of physical abuse, blackmail and sexual coercion by Greitens.

 Prosecutors have insisted that technical glitches with the video kept them from furnishing the recording sooner. Gardner also argued that the defense’s bid for dismissal and its accusations of misconduct against her were unwarranted “diversionary tactics” with no bearing on the case.
Greitens was indicted in February on a single felony count of invasion of privacy, charging he took a photo of the alleged victim in a state of undress without her consent and then made it accessible by computer to use as retaliation should she divulge their relationship.

 The alleged offense occurred in March 2015, the year before Greitens, a married father of two and a former U.S. Navy SEAL commando, was elected governor. If convicted, he would face up to four years in prison.
Greitens has admitted to a months-long affair with the woman. But he has denied blackmailing her or other criminal wrongdoing. Instead, he has cast himself as the victim of a “political witch-hunt” for private transgressions that have nothing to do with his job as governor.

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His lawyers have noted neither prosecutors nor anyone else has produced the photograph in question. The woman testified to the state House of Representatives committee that she believes it was taken while she was bound and blindfolded, and partially nude, in Greitens’ basement.

As pressure has mounted from Missouri politicians in both parties for him to resign, Greitens has declared he will remain in office while he fights in court to clear his name.

 That pressure grew more intense on Tuesday after Missouri’s attorney general said his office uncovered evidence of electronic theft by Greitens in an unrelated investigation – an allegation the governor dismissed as “ridiculous.” That case also has been referred to the St. Louis prosecutor.
Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Dan Grebler

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… 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.

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Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China

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Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.

Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.

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Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs

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President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.

At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.

But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.

"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.

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Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan

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Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.

Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.

It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.

"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.

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