Indictments Hit Manafort, Gates With Tax And Bank Fraud Charges

Special counsel Robert Mueller filed a new indictment on Thursday against former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort and former campaign aide Robert Gates, charging them with new tax and bank fraud crimes and hiking the amount of money they allegedly laundered to more than $30 million. The 32-count indictment was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia. Manafort and Gates are both accused of tax evasion and not reporting money in foreign accounts, and they are also accused of defrauding banks on paperwork for real-estate loans. While Manafort was originally indicted on charges he laundered $18 million through offshore bank accounts, the new indictment pushes that sum to $30 million. Gates remains accused of laundering $3 million. The charges against Manafort and Gates are related to money from their lobbying work for pro-Russian political figures in Ukraine.

Special counsel brings new charges against Manafort, Gates

Via www.cbsnews.com
 

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CNN Denies Florida School Shooting Survivor’s Claim They Provided Him With Scripted Question

According to one of the survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High, CNN nixed his proposed town hall questions and tried to get him to ask a scripted question instead. Colton Haab, a Junior ROTC student at the school who helped fellow classmates get to safety as the shooting began, says “CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted. I don’t think that it’s going get anything accomplished. It’s not gonna ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.” On Thursday morning, CNN denied providing a scripted question to Haab. The network stated it never scripts its town halls and that the teenager’s father instead pulled him from the production.  “We asked him to expand on his original question but the town hall wasn’t the place for a speech at which point his father declined for him to participate,” a source from CNN said. While CNN pushed back on Haab’s claim, they offered him the chance to appear on the network Thursday to discuss his views.

CNN Denies School Shooting Survivor’s Claim It Scripted Town Hall Question

Via www.msn.com
 

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New Charges Brought In Case Against Ex-Trump Campaign Manager

New sealed criminal charges have been filed in federal court in the criminal case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and campaign aide Rick Gates, a court record indicated on Wednesday.  The single-page document did not reveal the nature of the new charges. Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for almost five months in 2016, and Gates, who was deputy campaign manager, were indicted by Mueller’s office in October. They face charges including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failure to file as foreign agents for lobbying work they did on behalf of the pro-Russian Ukrainian Party of Regions. Both have pleaded not guilty.  

New charges filed against former Donald Trump aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates in Russia Probe

Via www.news.com.au
 

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Prominent Christian Evangelist Rev. Billy Graham Passes Away At Age 99

Reverend Billy Graham, the North Carolina pastor who took his evangelizing crusades around the country and the globe, died on Wednesday morning. He was 99. Graham achieved prominence as an evangelist serving as a counselor or minister to a dozen U.S. presidents. He preached to an estimated 215 million people in 185 countries around the world during his life, and his message reached millions more as he maintained a near-constant presence on radio, television and the internet. Graham also wrote more than two dozen books, including his 1997 memoir, “Just as I Am,” which was a New York Times best-seller.  Graham died just before 8 a.m. at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, surrounded by family, according to a spokesman for Samaritan’s Purse, the nondenominational evangelical Christian organization headed by Graham’s son Franklin. 

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U.S. Army Awards Medal of Heroism To 3 School Shooting Victims

The US Army is awarding the Medal of Heroism to three students killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting last week. An Army spokesman confirmed that the award had been approved for three members of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who “gave their lives during the shooting.” The family of Peter Wang received the award during his funeral Tuesday. The family had requested that he be buried in his JROTC uniform, and the Army provided a medal to be pinned to his uniform at the open-casket service. Wang, 15, was last seen holding a door open so that others could escape the shooter and was wearing his ROTC uniform when he was shot and killed. On the day of his funeral, the academy posthumously admitted him in the class of 2025.  The medal was also presented to the family of 14-year-old Alaina Petty at her memorial service on Monday, and a third cadet who died, Martin Duque, will also receive a JROTC Heroism Medal from the Army. It will be presented to his family during his viewing and service on Saturday, a spokesman said.

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Teenagers Stage ‘Lie-In’ Outside White House In Support Of Gun Control

A group of Washington, D.C., teenagers staged a “lie-in” outside the White House on Monday to show their support for the victims of last week’s mass shooting at a Florida high school — and to demand action from President Trump on gun control. “Teens for Gun Reform” took turns lying down for three minutes to symbolize “how quickly” the organization says suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz could have legally purchased the gun he allegedly used to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14. In a statement posted on its Facebook page the group said “we call on President Trump and leaders from both parties to finally act in the interest of America’s youth and end these tragic mass shootings!” Dozens of teenagers participated in Monday’s lie-in. The demonstration was just one of several student-led protests planned in response to the Florida school shooting.

Students hold ‘lie-in’ at White House to protest gun laws

Via abcnews.go.com
 

Family That Took In Nikolas Cruz Said He Showed No Warning Signs

Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged with the premeditated murder 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, later confessing to police that he was the gunman in the shooting, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office affidavit.  But when the Snead family took Nikolas Cruz into their home last November after his mother passed away, they thought of him as one of their own. Now they’re trying to recall any warning signs they might have missed. “The Nik we knew was not the monster he turned out to be,” James Snead, whose son befriended Cruz, told NBC News.  They said he was depressed after losing his mother, but no red flags ever went off about his behavior. Snead and wife, Kimberly, described Cruz as polite and “normal,” saying they set rules for the teen, which he followed.  They said reports from the Florida Department of Children and Families about Cruz were never brought to their attention, and that they knew Cruz had guns and were OK with it. There was a gun safe and James Snead believed he possessed the sole key.

Nikolas Cruz: ‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

Via www.chicagotribune.com
 

Supreme Court To Have Closed-Door Meeting On DACA

The Supreme Court will hold a closed-door meeting on Friday to decide whether to take up a lower court opinion that blocked the White House plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is at the forefront of the debate on illegal immigration. The nation’s highest court will consider the possibility of reviewing the opinion without a ruling from a federal appeals court.  The Justice Department requested the court to rule on whether the administration must continue to accept DACA renewal applications from participants after federal Northern California District Judge William Alsup blocked President Trump’s decision to end the program.

Supreme Court will meet behind closed doors Friday on DACA

Via www.cnn.com
 

Passenger Plane Crashes In Iran With 66 Aboard; All Feared Dead

All 66 people on board a passenger plane that crashed Sunday in a mountainous region of southern Iran are presumed dead, the airline said. The Aseman Airlines plane was flying from Tehran to the southwestern city of Yasuj when it disappeared 50 minutes into the flight, according to a post on the airline’s Instagram account. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani expressed their condolences to the victims and their families, ordering officials to spare no efforts in their rescue operation, the state-run Islamic News Agency (IRNA) reported. 

Iran plane crash: All 66 people on board feared dead

Via www.bbc.com
 

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