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US bank accounts frozen of Trump-linked Russian oligarch over election interference: Russian media

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The U.S. bank accounts of Russian oligarch Araz Agalarov have been frozen in relation to his suspected interference in the 2016 presidential election.

RBC, the news vertical of the Russian RosBiznesKonsalting media company, reported that all of Agalarov’s bank accounts have been frozen at Mueller’s request.

Investigative journalist Scott Stedman flagged the Russian news story with a translated summary on Twitter.

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https://twitter.com/ScottMStedman/status/1053452467197771776

A day prior to the account closures, The Guardian reported that the Russian oligarch who helped arrange the Trump Tower meeting in 2016 set up a US shell account just before the infamous meeting.

In September, BuzzFeed News reported that Agalarov attempted to move $3.3 million to an account owned by his employee Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze the same day as the infamous meeting — on top of the $20 million the website revealed that traveled between participants at the meeting.

“Although the documents do not directly link the $3.3 million to the meeting, they show that officials at three separate banks raised red flags about the funds,” the report noted. “Many of the transfers seemed to have no legitimate purpose, bankers noted. Kaveladze quickly moved money to other accounts he controlled, and appeared to use some of it to make payments on Agalarov’s behalf — including more than $700,000 to pay off American Express charges.”

RBC noted in its report that within 10 days of BuzzFeed’s September report on the transactions between Agalarov and Kaveladze, the oligarch received notification from Union Bank about the closure of all his corporate accounts.

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The Russian news site also noted that Kaveladze — an employee of Agalarov’s at his Crocus Group company — relayed the information about the account closures through a press release.

Crocus has reportedly tried to open three new accounts — to no avail.

“Our company is under real threat of ceasing its activities in the USA,” Kaveladze told RBC before blaming the closures on the “criminal actions” of Natalie May Edwards, a senior Treasury employee arrested for leaking documents related to the Mueller probe.

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UPDATE:

Stedman, who translated the story from Russian, walked back his tweet a little saying that it wasn’t clear if it was Mueller who froze the accounts. He said more information is forthcoming.

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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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