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Trump said he’d pay legal fees of Giuliani’s business partners — then denied knowing them

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In October, when asked about indicted Rudy Giuliani business associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, President Donald Trump played dumb, saying “I don’t know those gentlemen.”

But that is decidedly at odds with an email released as part of a trove of documents given by Parnas to the House Intelligence Committee, which suggests that Trump approved legal counsel for Parnas and Fruman just days before denying he knew them to reporters:

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Parnas and Fruman were indicted on campaign finance charges relating to their roles in the scheme to withhold military aid from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to force him to announce an “investigation” of former Vice President Joe Biden’s family. Giuliani, currently serving as Trump’s attorney, is reportedly also under investigation for the affair.


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The Trump administration misled the country by saying there were ‘no casualties’ from Iran attack: report

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After Iran targeted missiles at U.S. military personnel in Iraq in retaliation for the kill of a top general, the Trump administration declared that there were no casualties from attack, and — at least for the time being — it allowed the conflict to de-escalate.

But on Thursday night, a new report from Defense One revealed the initial claim that there were “no casualties” from the attack was false. It reported that 11 U.S. troops were injured in the attack and taken to hospitals to be treated for “traumatic brain injury.”

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State of emergency: High tension in Virginia as right-wing gun fanatics descend on Richmond

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Buried under the cascade of serious national news Wednesday was the alarming story that Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia had declared a state of emergency through next Tuesday evening in Richmond, the state capital. The declaration includes a ban on firearms and other weapons near Capitol Square, where the Democratic-led state legislature meets. Monday is a scheduled "lobbying day" for the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a far right pro-gun group, and Northam's office announced that law enforcement has "identified credible threats of violence surrounding the event, along with white nationalist rhetoric and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend."

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Another fatality in China from SARS-linked virus as mysterious illness spreads to third Asian country

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A second person has died in China from a mysterious SARS-linked virus that has stricken dozens and appeared in two other Asian countries, officials said.

Local authorities said a 69-year-old man died on Wednesday in Wuhan, the central Chinese city believed to be the epicentre of an outbreak of a coronavirus from the same family as the deadly SARS pathogen.

The outbreak has caused alarm because of the link with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 349 people in mainland China and another 299 in Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

At least 41 people have been hit with pneumonia linked to the new virus in China, prompting authorities in Hong Kong to step up detection measures, including temperature checkpoints for inbound travellers.

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