Wednesday, February 8

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Andrew Gillum, former Florida gubernatorial candidate, indicted on wire fraud charges
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Andrew Gillum, former Florida gubernatorial candidate, indicted on wire fraud charges

CNN  —  Andrew Gillum, a once-rising Democratic star who nearly won a 2018 race for Florida governor, was indicted on Wednesday along with a close political ally on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements. Gillum pleaded not guilty during a brief appearance at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee. A trial date was set for August 16. A 26-page grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges Gillum and a longtime associate, Sharon Janet Lettman-Hicks, engaged in a years-long scheme to turn political donations and grant funds into personal income. According to a Department of Justice news release, the two obtained funds through “false and fraudulent promise...
Israel set for possible fifth election in four years as PM Bennett moves to dissolve parliament
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Israel set for possible fifth election in four years as PM Bennett moves to dissolve parliament

Along with his key coalition ally Foreign Minister Yair Lapid -- who now looks set to replace him as leader as early as next week -- Bennett has agreed to submit a bill to dissolve parliament, which if passed would trigger a general election later this year.The announcement followed weeks of mounting political uncertainty in Israel, but still came as a major surprise.A short statement from the Prime Minister's Office said the move came "after attempts to stabilize the coalition had been exhausted." A bill would be submitted to parliament at some point next week, the statement added.If it is passed, Lapid will become the country's fourteenth Prime Minister, in line with the original coalition agreement struck last year. It also means Israelis will be going to the polls for the fifth time...
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Russian emails appear to show ‘network’ holding $4.5bn assets linked to Putin | Russia

Palaces, yachts and vineyards reportedly provided to Vladimir Putin by friends and oligarchs can now be linked to what appears to be an informal network holding assets worth more than $4.5bn (£3.7bn).A digital paper trail appears to suggest that an array of holiday homes and other assets reportedly used by the Russian president, which according to available records belong to or have been owned by separate individuals, companies and charities, are linked through a common email domain name, LLCInvest.ru.Putin diagramA snapshot of leaked email exchanges from last September further suggests directors and administrators associated with some of the separate entities that hold and manage these assets have discussed day-to-day business problems as if they were part of a single organisation.An a...
Bitcoin drops below key $20,000 threshold
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Bitcoin drops below key $20,000 threshold

Bitcoin’s price has broken below the key threshold of $20,000 for the first time since November 2020, risking triggering a fresh wave of selling and deepening the crisis gripping the digital asset sector. The largest cryptocurrency, which acts as a benchmark for the broader crypto market, plunged to under $18,000 on Saturday, a fall of around 14 per cent, before bouncing back slightly. That took it below the peak level of the previous bull run in crypto markets in 2017 and erased years of gains for long-term holders. Traditional financial markets were shaken this week after a trio of big central banks, led by the US Federal Reserve, boosted borrowing costs as part of an effort to tamp down intense inflation. Global equities posted their worst week since the darkest days of the pa...
N.Y. Governor Debate Live Updates: Democrats Clash in Final Match-Up
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N.Y. Governor Debate Live Updates: Democrats Clash in Final Match-Up

In the second and final debate in the Democratic primary race for governor of New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul and her two opponents parried over highly volatile issues, including rising crime, dwindling affordable housing, looming environmental catastrophe — and how they take their bagel.But lighthearted moments were relatively few on Thursday, as Jumaane D. Williams, the New York City public advocate, and Representative Thomas R. Suozzi took their last direct swipes at Ms. Hochul ahead of the June 28 primary contest.The hourlong tussle was far from pretty and often outright sour, as Mr. Williams and especially Mr. Suozzi heaped on accusations that the governor was ethically compromised, insufficiently qualified and unwilling or unable to protect New Yorkers.“Governor? Governor? Governor?” ...
Nebraska GOP governor says he will call a special session to pass total abortion ban if Roe is overturned
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Nebraska GOP governor says he will call a special session to pass total abortion ban if Roe is overturned

Washington CNN  —  Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska said Sunday that he will call a special session of his state’s legislature to pass a total ban on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this term. “Nebraska is a pro-life state. I believe life begins at conception,” Ricketts told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “If Roe v. Wade, which is a horrible constitutional decision, gets overturned by the Supreme Court, which we’re hopeful of, here in Nebraska, we’re going to take further steps to protect those unborn babies.” “Including in the case of rape or incest?” Bash asked. To which the governor replied: “They’re still babies, too. Yes.” Ric...
Finland NATO: will apply to join NATO, ditching decades of neutrality despite Russia’s threats of retaliation
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Finland NATO: will apply to join NATO, ditching decades of neutrality despite Russia’s threats of retaliation

CNN  —  Finland’s government said Sunday it intends to join NATO, ditching decades of neutrality and ignoring Russian threats of possible retaliation as the Nordic country attempts to strengthen its security following the onset of the war in Ukraine. Sweden’s ruling party later said it will also support joining the alliance. The decision was announced at a joint press conference by President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who said the move must be ratified by the country’s parliament before Finland can formally seek membership of the alliance. “We hope that the parliament will confirm the decision to apply for NATO membership,” Marin said in Helsinki on Sunday. “Duri...
Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine
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Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Ukraine not 'overoptimistic' despite Russian troops pulling back near Kharkiv, official saysUkraine's deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, Olga Stefanishyna, said she sees a "cautious amount of great news" in the country's defense against Russia. In particular, she pointed to Russian troops pulling back from around Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, in recent days."But we are not overoptimistic in that regard," she said in an interview on ABC's "This Week." "We see that Putin has readjusted his strategy, and the only possible winning scenario for him is a long-lasting war, which is not the case for us and the democratic world. ... The unconditional victory still remains the way forward."Russia's navy remains in "full preparedness to continue shelling," ...
Buffalo Shooting Updates: Investigators Begin Building Case
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Buffalo Shooting Updates: Investigators Begin Building Case

Dominique Calhoun had pulled into the parking lot of a Tops supermarket, about to treat her two daughters to ice cream, when she suddenly saw people running out of the store screaming.By the time she had exited, 13 people had been shot, 10 of them fatally, after an 18-year-old white gunman opened fire in what has been described by police as a racist attack.“That literally could’ve been me,” Ms. Calhoun said. “I’m just in shock. I’ve never had something like this happen so close to home.”Ken Stephens, 68, a member of a local anti-violence group, described a grisly scene. “I came up here, and bodies were everywhere,” he said.News of the shooting spread quickly across the city. Marilyn Hanson, 60, raced to Tops to make sure her daughter, who lived nearby, wasn’t among the victims; she was ...
Authorities say the suspected Buffalo supermarket shooter traveled from hours away. Here’s what we know
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Authorities say the suspected Buffalo supermarket shooter traveled from hours away. Here’s what we know

Thirteen people -- 11 of whom were African American -- were shot, with three suffering non-life-threatening injuries, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. Two victims were White, Gramaglia said."The shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo, a day when people were enjoying the sunshine, enjoying family, enjoying friends," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a Saturday evening news conference. "People in a supermarket, shopping and bullets raining down on them. People's lives being snuffed out in an instant for no reason."The suspect, Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old White man, was charged with first-degree murder, Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Craig Hannah told CNN, adding the district attorney's office is planning on...