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From Russia to hush money: Court records offer new details on inquiries of ex-Trump lawyer Michael CohenUnsealed court records show authorities began investigating Michael Cohen in mid-2017 and suggest their inquiry is not concluded.


3/19/2019 2:17:07 PM

Parts of US Midwest deluged in historic deadly floodsThe US Midwest struggled Monday with historic flooding that claimed at least three lives, displaced residents and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses. Swollen waters hit much of Nebraska, as well as parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, after a major storm last week dumped snow and rain, even as melting snow was already raising the levels of area waterways. Neighboring states could also be affected as floodwaters drain, officials said.


3/18/2019 4:35:05 PM

Stop Politicizing the Christchurch KillingsAs the families of the 50 Muslims gunned down at two New Zealand Mosques on Friday mourned, Senator Fraser Anning of Queensland put out a widely condemned statement that effectively blamed the victims:> I don’t think I have ever seen a statement like this from an elected official after a terrorist attack: pic.twitter.com/83RCLcM7Mg> > -- Seema (@LATSeema) March 15, 2019Later, as Anning was being interviewed by media, a teenage boy smashed an egg on his head. Anning responded by throwing punches at the young man.All this was caught on camera, of course, much as the massacre itself had been livestreamed on Facebook. Media and social media have undoubtedly exacerbated this tragedy. National Review’s Theodore Kupfer has noted the fascistic murderer’s “sh**posting” (online trolling which blurs the line between jokes about violence and actual violence) and his sadistic sense of irony, suggesting that he “wanted to deepen existing conflicts in a way that will prompt a cycle of overreach and radicalization.”If that was his wish, some people seem to be granting it.Whatever one thinks about the political “lessons to be learned” from this incident — guns, immigration, technology — the first response should surely be to console the grieving and to bury the dead. Instead, politicians and journalists have been scrambling to win another battle in the culture wars.Senator Anning tried to score points for his radical agenda with a heartless, knee-jerk response. In the U.K., Guardian journalist Nesrine Malik got to work on Twitter, juxtaposing commentators’ past moderate criticisms of Islam with their statements of sympathy for the Christchurch victims, arguing that they were in some way to blame for what happened. In the U.S., Chelsea Clinton was confronted by a protester who shouted that her criticisms of Representative Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic comments were to blame for the attacks. Everywhere, the politically active seemed to be losing their minds.It was hardly surprising, then, when a teenager soon joined in. You could not make this up: Eggboy was the top trending topic on Twitter on Saturday. His smashing an egg against Anning’s head while filming it for the purposes of social media was an expression of adolescent rage — inappropriate, yes but more excusable than Anning’s response. It was all a perfect microcosm of the wider cultural response to the shooting.Readers may recall Heath Ledger’s terrifying Joker in The Dark Knight. As well as a sadistic sense of humor and bloodlust, he had a disturbingly accurate understanding of human psychology. He knew how to bring out the absolute worst in people, to create chaos and sow hatred. In doing so he would rob people not only of their lives, but of their humanity.To be clear, it would be a grave mistake to attribute either cunning or sophistication to the bigoted thug behind the New Zealand attacks. But if it took neither cunning nor sophistication to produce such a shabby response from our politicians and pundits, what does that say about them?Before it became unfashionable, people used to offer prayers in times of tragedy. Whether or not they meant the gesture literally, it signaled a somber thoughtfulness and a hope for the future that are both sorely needed now. Of course, prayer won’t bring back the dead, it is no substitute for policy, and when used as a type of virtue signaling it can be irritating. But in the immediate aftermath of violence, it can — if nothing else — serve to remind us of a civilizing force.That is especially true in this case, where the slaughtered themselves were murdered while at prayer, cut down in the middle of a sacred communal ritual by an alienated, nihilistic, savage gunman. In the immediate aftermath of such horror, the least we can do is honor their memory.


3/18/2019 10:42:17 AM

Brotherly love at Reliance? India's Mukesh Ambani provides 'support' to brother Anil as debt paid offIndia's richest man Mukesh Ambani, who controls oil-to-telecoms powerhouse Reliance Industries that is now worth many times the troubled business group run by his younger brother Anil, appears to have offered some kind of support to ensure Anil paid off a 5.5 billion rupees ($80 million) debt. If Anil didn't pay the debt, then he had been threatened by India's Supreme Court with a prison term. The nature of the backing and how it was delivered is unclear, but in a statement Anil Ambani thanked his billionaire brother "for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support".


3/18/2019 1:53:33 PM

Beto O'Rourke campaign: Bernie Sanders' supporters fuel misinformation about Texas Democrat's record-breaking fundraising haulBeto O’Rourke's record-breaking fundraising haul has appeared to upset supporters of Bernie Sanders, who began spreading misinformation about how the Texas Democrat’s campaign managed to top that of the Vermont senator’s in its first 24 hours. A tweet claiming the former congressman’s 2020 campaign was part of a supposed financial kickback with the Texas Democratic Party went viral after Mr O'Rourke released his fundraising figures from his first day on the campaign trail earlier this week.


3/19/2019 2:28:00 PM

Stephen Colbert postpones surprise trip to New Zealand after mosque attacksStephen Colbert was supposed to travel to New Zealand on Wednesday for a week of shows. After the mosque attacks, the trip has been postponed.


3/19/2019 4:20:33 PM

What will Democrats, media do if Mueller investigation finds no collusion with Russia?The Hill media reporter Joe Concha weighs in on the dossier scandal and intent of spreading dirt on President Trump.


3/18/2019 8:18:46 PM

New Zealand attack plays into jihadist hands: expertsWhite supremacist Brenton Tarrant, who is accused of killing 50 people in the New Zealand mosque massacre in what he claimed was a blow against Muslim "invaders", played into jihadist hands by following their strategy, experts say. From the Islamic State (IS) group to Al-Qaeda, jihadist groups aim to deepen divisions between Muslims and the rest of the world in an apparent aim to trigger all-out war between "believers" and "unbelievers". "The Christchurch attack was a blessing for Daesh," said Alain Chouet, a former senior French intelligence official, using an Arabic acronym for IS.


3/18/2019 12:47:48 PM

Mesut Ozil sparks new political row over wedding invite for Turkish presidentThe footballer Mesut Özil has become embroiled in a new political row in Germany over reports he asked Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s president, to be guest of honour at his wedding. The Arsenal star resigned from the German national team last year claiming he was a victim of racism after coming under fire over his public support for Mr Erdoğan . German politicians spoke out after he was pictured with his fiancee, Amine Gulse, meeting Mr Erdoğan at Istanbul airport last week. “The fact this is still going on will disappoint a lot of football fans, including me,” Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, told reporters. Bild, Germany’s highest-selling newspaper, carried reports of the wedding invitation on its front page. Last year's extraordinary political row which culminated in one of Germany’s biggest football stars quitting the national team began when Özil and Ilkay Gündoğan, another player of Turkish descent, posed for photographs with Mr Erdoğan in London. Özil's decision to pose alongside Mr Erdoğan last year set off a political row that culminated in his retirement from the German national team Credit: KAYHAN OZER/AFP Several Germans were being held in Turkey at the time as part of the regime’s crackdown on opposition and press freedom, and the footballer's decision to pose alongside the Turkish president caused widespread public anger in Germany. Many blamed the controversy for Germany’s poor performance in the World Cup, and Özil  subsequently announced his retirement from the national team on Twitter, writing: “If we win, I’m German. If we lose, I’m an immigrant." A third-generation German whose grandparents immigrated from Turkey, Özil defended his decision to pose with Mr Erdoğan as “respecting the highest office of my family's country”. He announced his engagement to Ms Gulse, a former Miss Turkey, earlier this year. “Everyone can invite whoever he likes to his wedding, and of course this also applies to Mesut Özil,” said Cem Özdemir of the Green Party, Germany’s highest-profile politician of Turkish heritage. “But both current and former national players are role models and must ask themselves whether they live up to that role if they indulge autocrats who enrich themselves at the expense of their country and make their opponents disappear in dungeons. I think that is inappropriate.”


3/18/2019 8:44:56 AM

The Latest: Warren supports elimination of electoral collegeJACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (all times local):


3/18/2019 8:07:43 PM