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Russian billionaire who attended Trump’s inauguration questioned by Mueller’s team as he exited his private jet

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A Russian billionaire that attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration was questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team earlier this year as he exited his private plane on the tarmac in a New York City airport.

The New York Times reported Friday that Viktor F. Vekelsberg, a Russian businessman who was sanctioned by the U.S. government under suspicion of being “enriched” by Vladimir Putin’s government, was confronted by federal investigators with a request to search his electronic devices.

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The Times‘ sources did not give the newspaper any indication that Vekelsberg is under suspicion of wrongdoing or why he was questioned at all, but the report noted the Kremlin-linked businessman has multiple connections to Trump and the people around him.

Along with attending the president’s inauguration, Vekelsberg was at an infamous December 2015 dinner hosted by the Russia’s RT news network in which Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was in attendance.

The Ukranian-born billionaire also “controlled a company that has been the largest single shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus” — and when he was involved with the bank, Trump’s future Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was its vice chairman.


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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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