Bribery trial tests US cases against Venezuela kleptocrats
A former Venezuelan treasurer and nurse to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is contesting criminal charges in the U.S. Claudia Diaz is charged with money laundering, accused of taking at least $4.2 million in bribes and gifts in exchange for green lighting lucrative currency transactions.
Hard-left leader sees win in French vote, himself as new PM
Leftist parties that had nearly disappeared from the French political landscape have grown wings in the runup to Sunday’s legislative elections and now threaten to weaken President Emmanuel Macron and his hopes of slam-dunking his agenda through parliament.
Colombian candidate says he won't nationalize property
Colombian presidential frontrunner Gustavo Petro pledged that he will not nationalize private property if he wins the nation’s presidency this year as critics in the South American country accuse the leftist candidate of wanting to make radical changes to the country’s free market economy.
Judge rules Dominion case can proceed against Trump allies
A federal judge has cleared the way for a defamation case by Dominion Voting Systems to proceed against Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Lindell, allies of former President Donald Trump who had all falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election.
Dominion Voting sues Fox for $1.6B over 2020 election claims
FILE- In this Sept. 16, 2019, file photo, a Dominion Voting Systems voting machine is seen in Atlanta. Attorneys for Dominion said Fox News’ behavior differs greatly from that of other media outlets that reported on the claims. Though Dominion serves 28 states, until the 2020 election it had been largely unknown outside the election community. One employee, Eric Coomer, told the AP he had to go into hiding over death threats because of the false claims. A rival technology company, Smartmatic USA, also sued Fox News over election claims for a similar sum of money.
US lets Venezuelans stay temporarily, will review sanctions
AdA senior Biden administration official portrayed that as a failed strategy. “The United States is in no rush to lift sanctions," the official said, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss the policy. Any easing of sanctions would likely face opposition in Congress, but the granting of temporary protected status for Venezuelans has bipartisan support. Temporary protected status is a more formal status that cannot be as easily reversed. Citizens of 10 countries, totaling about 400,000 people, are in the United States now with temporary protected status.
Trump can't hang on to lawyers after false election claims
Since losing the November election to President Joe Biden, Trump has been hemorrhaging attorneys. Trump's impeachment lawyers started off their defense by misspelling the words “United States” in their brief. Navarro told The Associated Press that he “warned the president that his legal team was going to fail him." Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said Trump’s team did a “terrible job." AdBut after impeachment, Trump's legal needs will likely accelerate, with the investigations in New York, Georgia and possibly Washington, D.C., where prosecutors will have the power of subpoena.
Leftist leads in early returns for Ecuador presidential vote
(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)QUITO – A young leftist backed by a convicted-but-popular former president led the field of 16 candidates in early returns from Ecuador’s presidential election Sunday, which was held under strict sanitary measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Arauz got 31.5% of the votes, while Pérez had 20.04% and Lasso had 19.97%, according to the Electoral Council of Ecuador. To win outright, a candidate needed 50% of the vote, or to have at least 40% with a 10-point lead over the closest opponent. Pérez's challenge to grab second place surprised some observers as he had trailed behind Arauz and Lasso in pre-election polls. That conviction barred him from running as Arauz's vice presidential candidate.
Ecuador to pick new president amid deepening economic crisis
Supporters of presidential candidate Yaku Perez, representing the Indigenous party Pachakutik, take part in a campaign rally in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. Voters in Ecuador are heading to the polls to pick a new president amid a deepening economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)QUITO – Evidence of the crisis in Ecuador is everywhere: shuttered restaurants, soaring oxygen tank prices and countless “for sale” and “for rent” signs hanging from buildings. Jaramillo said the top two challenges for Ecuador’s next president go hand in hand: A proper vaccination campaign of the majority of the population will be necessary to start the country’s economic recovery. The pandemic paralyzed 70% of businesses last year and left 600,000 unemployed, bringing the country’s unemployment rate to almost 68%.
Ex-foreign correspondent reflects on risks for US reporters
There is increasing concern for the safety of journalists covering protests at state capitals across the U.S., and in Washington. This week, now as a reporter in Oregon, I attended virtual training by the state police on what to do if there's a shooting rampage in the Oregon Capitol. The Legislature’s leadership, for the first time, included journalists in the training after several were assaulted by rioters outside the state Capitol in December. What has happened at the Oregon Capitol is a clear example of how those divisions have become sharper and more bitter. Until last year, protests at the marble-sheathed state Capitol had been relatively mild.
Dominion sues Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation
WASHINGTON – Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against lawyer Sidney Powell on Friday, seeking at least $1.3 billion for Powell's “wild accusations” that the company rigged the presidential election for Joe Biden. “Dominion brings this action to set the record straight,” the company said in the suit filed in federal court in Washington. Powell has been representing Trump in a series of unsuccessful lawsuits filed to contest the election outcome. There was no widespread fraud in the election, which a range of election officials across the country including Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have confirmed. Eric Coomer, Dominion's security director, already has sued Powell, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the president's campaign for defamation after he was driven into hiding by death threats.
Venezuela's socialists take control of once-defiant congress
The ruling socialist party assumed the leadership of Venezuela's congress on Tuesday, the last institution in the country it didn't already control. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)CARACAS – Parading giant portraits of Hugo Chavez and independence hero Simon Bolivar, allies of President Nicolas Maduro retook control of Venezuela's congress Tuesday, the last institution in the country it didn’t already control. “They are trying to annihilate Venezuela’s democratic force,” Guaidó said in his online address, which was overshadowed by the government’s celebratory session in the legislature downtown. Rodriguez emphasized that urgent work would be needed to mitigate the fallout from U.S. sanctions, which have exacerbated Venezuela's many homespun economic problems. He also reiterated a desire for dialogue with the opposition at the same time that Maduro and others have threatened arrest for Guaidó.
Fox, Newsmax shoot down their own aired claims on election
Many Republican voters in Georgia are angry; certain that widespread voter fraud claims of which are baseless cost President Donald Trump the election. The companies deny several statements made about them, and there is no evidence any voting system switched or deleted votes in the 2020 election. That came days after Smartmatic sent a letter threatening legal action to Fox and two other networks popular with Trump supporters, Newsmax and One America News Network. A statement aired by Newsmax anchors on Monday, and also printed on the company website, was much broader and concerned both Smartmatic and Dominion. “No evidence has been offered that Dominion or Smartmatic used software or reprogrammed software that manipulated votes in the 2020 election,” Newsmax said.
Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud
Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday, Dec. 1, that the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud and has seen nothing that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)WASHINGTON – Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election. Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing. Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever.
Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud
Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday, Dec. 1, that the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud and has seen nothing that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)WASHINGTON – Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election. Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing. Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever.
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60
Argentine soccer superstar Diego Armando Maradona cheers after the Napoli team clinched its first Italian major league title in Naples, Italy, on May 10, 1987. The Argentine soccer great was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity. The office of Argentina's president said it will decree three days of national mourning, and the Argentine soccer association expressed its sorrow on Twitter. “Maradona inspires us,” said then-Argentina striker Carlos Tevez, explaining his country’s everyman fascination with Maradona at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He failed another doping test for stimulants and was thrown out of the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
Sources: Venezuela wooed Texas Republican to ease sanctions
The purpose: to lure Exxon back to Venezuela after a decade's absence and inject much-needed dynamism into the OPEC nation's collapsing oil industry. But Sessions did engage in other mediation efforts in Venezuela over the next 15 months. The earlier email regarding Exxon and his connection to Rivera was not known at the time. The five-sentence message sent to Sessions' personal email address, which starts with the word eagle," is short on specifics. The U.S. Department of State would be your best resource for any information regarding contacts made with Venezuela, a spokesman said.
Citgo sues Miami firm over millions lost in Venezuela fraud
Guaid said Monday, May 11, 2020 that two U.S.-based political advisers have resigned following a failed incursion into Venezuela aimed at capturing President Nicols Maduro. In exchange, officials paid Gonzlez $20 million between 2014 and 2018 to provide goods and services to Citgo's parent company, PDVSA, at inflated prices. "Citgo lost millions of dollars as a result," the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit follows a similar complaint filed by Citgo two weeks ago against former Miami congressman David Rivera for allegedly breaking a $50 million consulting contract with PDVSA. To date, 28 individuals have been charged as part of the ongoing probe by prosecutors in Houston, Miami and Washington.