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TRUMP CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS...TRUMPS FORMER LAWYER RUSSIA CONNECTIONS...UPCOMING MICHAEL COHEN SENTENCING...RALLY MURDER CONVICTION....JOHN KELLY DEPARTURE

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department says President Donald Trump directed illegal payments to buy the silence of two women whose claims of extramarital affairs threatened his campaign. But the filing stops short of accusing Trump of committing a crime. The allegation made Friday is the first time the government has connected Trump to what it says are criminal campaign finance violations. Prosecutors say ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen arranged the payments “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump.

WASHINGTON (AP) – State and federal court filings assert that President Donald Trump’s former lawyer was in touch as far back as 2015 with a Russian who offered “political synergy” with the Trump election campaign and proposed a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Michael Cohen is a vital witness who once said he’d “take a bullet” for the president, but who in recent months has become an antagonist. Cohen faces sentencing next week on a variety of charges.

NEW YORK (AP) – A federal court filing excoriates Michael Cohen ahead of his sentencing next week for crimes that include tax evasion and helping to coordinate hush money payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with President Donald Trump. Federal prosecutors dismissed Cohen’s attempt to portray himself as a man who found his ethical compass. The court filing calls the president’s former fixer a delusional, tragic figure who may have badly misplayed his hand. He faces up to four years in prison.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Civil rights activists in Charlottesville, Virginia, are hoping for more healing following the trial and first-degree murder conviction of James Alex Fields Jr. Fields drove into counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. A state jury delivered a guilty verdict for late Friday, rejecting his claims that he acted in self-defense during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. The community was scarred by the violence that ensued.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A marquee figure in President Donald Trump’s White House could soon be seeking other employment. According to nearly a dozen current and former administration officials and outside confidants, Chief of staff John Kelly’s departure now seems certain in an anticipated White House shakeup. Trump has already announced a new attorney general and ambassador to the U.N. as he gears up for a re-election campaign and dealing with the Democrats’ investigations once they take control of the House.


Bush Burial Today...China Demands Canada Release Tech Exec...Yemen Peace Talks Begin

HOUSTON (AP) – George H.W. Bush will be buried Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station. He’ll be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia at age 3. On Wednesday the country said goodbye to the 41st president in a national funeral service at Washington National Cathedral. Son George W. Bush eulogized his father as “the brightest of a thousand points of light.”

BEIJING (AP) – China’s foreign ministry has demanded Canada release a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies who has been detained while in transit, and reveal the reasoning behind her arrest. Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Thursday that China was in contact over the case of Meng Wanzhou with both Canada and the U.S., which requested her detention on suspicion of trying to evade U.S. curbs on trade with Iran. Geng also said Meng’s legal rights must be ensured.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration has separated 81 migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border since the June executive order by the president that stopped the general practice. That’s according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. Immigration officials are allowed to separate a child from a parent in certain cases, such as criminal charges against a parent and concerns over the health and welfare of a child.

RIMBO, Sweden (AP) – The U.N. envoy for Yemen says the country’s warring sides have agreed on a prisoner exchange as part of confidence-building measures for the war-torn nation. Martin Griffiths spoke at the opening of Yemen peace talks in Sweden on Thursday.

PARIS (AP) – The riots in Paris show how difficult it can be to fight climate change by raising prices for gasoline and other fuels. Economists and others say such taxes are the most efficient to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases, but the taxes don’t go over well when people are struggling to get by. French President Emmanuel Macron has scrapped the fuel tax that had sparked the protests. It’s not just France. People in India, Mexico and Indonesia have protested higher fuel prices in recent years.


Mueller: Flynn Shouldn't Be Jailed...China Mum on Deal Details...All Former Presidents to Attend Bush Funeral

WASHINGTON (AP) – Special counsel Robert Mueller says that President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser has provided so much information to the Russia investigation that he shouldn’t do any prison time. Mueller says in a court filing that Michael Flynn participated in 19 interviews and cooperated extensively in a separate and undisclosed criminal probe. Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced in two weeks for lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A viewing for George H.W. Bush at the U.S. Capitol rotunda is drawing to a close as the nation bids farewell to the former president. A service of prayer and praise will be held Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral for the late 41st president, capping three days of remembrance for Bush, who died Friday at age 94. After the national funeral service, Bush’s remains will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church before burial Thursday at his family plot.

BEIJING (AP) – China has promised to carry out a trade agreement with Washington but gave no details that might dispel confusion about what Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump committed to in Argentina. China has yet to confirm Trump’s claim Beijing will cut auto tariffs and buy more American farm goods. That has fueled doubts the deal will lead to a lasting settlement of a fight over technology that threatens to chill global economic growth.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Wednesday’s state funeral for George H.W. Bush will be attended by former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. The last time they were together with President Donald Trump was at his inauguration in 2017. Recalling the funerals for Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, they will all sit together in Washington National Cathedral, with the exception of the younger Bush, who will be seated nearby with his family.

CAIRO (AP) – Yemen’s warring parties will meet in Sweden this week for another attempt at talks aimed at halting their catastrophic 3-year-old war, but there are few incentives for major compromises, and the focus is likely to be on firming up a shaky de-escalation. U.N. officials say they don’t expect rapid progress toward a political settlement, but hope for at least minor steps that would help to address Yemen’s mounting humanitarian crisis.


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