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8 - Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Trump quizzing ‘in weeks’
President Donald Trump could
be inter viewed within weeks as part
of special counsel Robert Mueller’s
investigation of Russian interference
in the 2016 United States presidential
election, the Washington Post reported
Mueller raised the issue of inter viewing
Trump during a meeting in late
December with the President ’s lawyers,
John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, the Post
said. The inter view, which would deal
with a limited portion of questions,
could take place within the next several
weeks, the Post said, citing a person close
to the president.
Sekulow and Dowd did not respond
to requests for comment about the
Washington Post report. White House
lawyer Ty Cobb declined to comment on
it, saying it was policy not to comment
on communications with the special
Earlier, a source familiar with the
issue said discussions about Trump’s
possible testimony have been going on
among lawyers. NBC News reported
that Trump’s lawyers were in discussions
about the president being inter viewed in
connection with Mueller’s Russia probe.
Citing three people familiar with the
situation, NBC said lawyers for Trump
had met with representatives of Mueller’s
office in late December to discuss the
logistics of any such inter view.
They included the location and length
of such an inter view as well as legal
standards and options for its format,
including written responses instead
of a formal sit-down, according to the
The spokesman for the special counsel’s
office, Peter Carr, declined to comment
on the report.
Mueller has been appointed by the
Justice Department to investigate
allegations of Russian meddling in the
November 2016 election and possible
collusion with Trump’s campaign.
United States intelligence agencies
have concluded that Russia interfered in
the election to try to help Trump win.
Russia has denied any meddling, and
Trump has said there was no collusion.
Blumenthal said in an inter view with
MSNBC television overnight that he
expected Mueller would try to talk to
the president “face-to-face. ”
Mueller’s probe so far has led to two
Trump associates, former national
security adviser Michael Flynn and
campaign aide George Papadopoulos,
pleading guilty to lying to Federal
Bureau of Investigation agents.
Two others, former Trump campaign
manager Paul Manafort and his
associate, Richard Gates, were indicted
on money laundering charges but have
pleaded not guilty.
Trump said at the weekend he was
willing to speak with Mueller’s team.
“There’s been no collusion; there’s been
no crime,” he told reporters at the Camp
David presidential retreat in Maryland.
“And, in theory, everybody tells me I’m
not under investigation. ” — Reuters
Special counsel Robert Mueller.
uLawyers in talks over Russian probe
Sinn Fein suspends
MP over tweet
A lawyer for the publisher of Fire and
Fury — the book which purports to
show what is really going on behind the
scenes at the White House — says no
retraction or apology is coming.
United States President Donald
Trump and his supporters called the
book fiction, and Trump lawyer Charles J
Harder last week sent a cease-and-desist
letter to Henry Holt and Company,
threatening legal action.
In a response to Harder, Elizabeth A
McNamara of the firm David Wright
Tremaine writes that the book is “an
accurate report ” and says Harder failed
to cite any specific errors.
McNamara writes that former Trump
adviser Steve Bannon, whose explosive
quotes helped make the book a best-
seller, spoke “freely and voluntarily” to
author Michael Wolff.
McNamara also writes that should
Trump sue, the author and publisher are
“quite confident ” that Trump political
and financial documents would prove
“particularly relevant ” for the defence.
No retraction for
Irish nationalist party
suspended one of its
“ indefensible” tweet on the
anniversary of the day 10
Protestant textile workers
were shot dead in 1976,
which police blamed on
Sinn Fein, which wants to
enter government in both
Northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland, has
struggled to distance itself from the violent
legacy of the Provisional Irish Republican
Army, its ex-military wing, which waged
an insurgency against British rule in
Northern Ireland until 1998.
Barry McElduff, who last year was
elected to the British parliament,
posted a video on Twitter on Saturday,
the anniversary of the massacre near
the village of Kingsmill in which he
balanced a loaf of Kingsmill brand bread
on his head. He later deleted the tweet.
Alan Black, the only sur vivor of the
massacre in which Irish nationalist
gunmen forced workers from a minibus
and shot them dead at close range, told
the BBC the video was “depraved” and
designed to hurt relatives of the victims.
No one has ever been convicted for
the crime, which an inquiry said was
carried out by the IRA who targeted
the men because of their
religion. The IRA denied
“ What has happened
indefensible and the
party is taking this matter
very seriously,” Sinn Fein
chairman Declan Kearney
told Irish State broadcaster
RTE overnight, alluding to
McElduff ’s tweet.
After a meeting with
Ireland leader Michelle
O’Neill, McElduff said in a statement
that he had been suspended from all
party activity for three months.
“Although I genuinely meant no
offence, I accept that my actions were
ill-judged and, while unintended, caused
deep and unnecessary hurt and pain to
the Kingsmill families,” he said.
The Police Ser vice of Northern Ireland
said it was making inquiries following
complaints about the tweet.
The 1976 massacre was one of a series
of tit-for-tat attacks by Protestant
paramilitaries who wanted Northern
Ireland to remain British and Catholic
Irish nationalists seeking a united Ireland.
The 1998 peace agreement paved the
way for a power-sharing government
and mostly ended the cycle of violence,
though some small armed groups
remain. — Reuters
Pope urges Korean dialogue, nuclear ban
Pope Francis, in his annual
“state of the world” address called
overnight for all nations to support
dialogue to ease tensions on the
Korean peninsula and to work for
a legally binding ban on nuclear
In the speech, Pope Francis also
repeated his call for a two-state
solution between Israelis and
Palestinians and respect for the
“status quo” of Jerusalem following
United States President Donald
Trump’s decision to recognise the
city as Israel’s capital.
“It is of paramount importance
to support every effort at dialogue
on the Korean peninsula, in order
to find new ways of overcoming the
current disputes, increasing mutual
trust and ensuring a peaceful future
for the Korean people and the
entire world,” Pope Francis said.
He addressed envoys from more
than 180 countries a day before
North Korea and South Korea are
due to hold talks expected to address
North Korea’s participation in the
Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,
which some diplomats see as a
possible opening for discussions on
other topics such as humanitarian
issues and divided families.
Earlier this month, after North
Korean leader Kim Jong Un
asserted that he had a nuclear
button at the ready, Trump tweeted
that the US button was bigger and
“ Nuclear weapons must be
banned,” Pope Francis said, quoting
a document issued by Pope John
XXIII at the height of the Cold
War and adding there is “no
denying the conflagration could
be started by some chance and
Noting the Holy See was among
122 states that last year agreed
a United Nations treaty to ban
nuclear weapons, he called for a
“serene and wide-ranging debate”
The US, Britain, France and
others boycotted the talks that
led to the treaty, instead pledging
commitment to a decades-old
At the individual greetings after
the speech, Francis spent more time
chatting with South Korea’s envoy,
Jonghyu Jeong, than with most
Washington’s new Ambassador
to the Vatican, Callista Gingrich,
attended along with her husband,
former speaker of the US House of
Representatives, Newt Gingrich.
Pope Francis called for a “ united
effort” to remain committed to
the 2015 Paris accord on reducing
carbon emissions. French President
Emmanuel Macron is trying to
breathe new life in the agreement
after Trump announced that the
US would withdraw.
Pope Francis, who has made
defence of migrants and refugees
a major plank of his pontificate,
warned against “stirring up primal
fears” of newcomers. “ There is a
need, then, to abandon the familiar
rhetoric and start from the essential
consideration that we are dealing,
above all, with persons,” he said.
Migration has become a political
issue in countries including the US,
Italy and Germany. — Reuters
Rays left to die in shark net
Marine life is being left to die
in New South Wales shark nets
despite authorities knowing about it,
according to environmental group Sea
Two live eagle rays were found by
environmentalists entangled in shark
nets off Sharpes and Lighthouse beaches
Sea Shepherd, which also found a
dead manta ray, said it contacted local
authorities to see if they could free the
live animals but were told they would be
left to die.
“It’s not the first non-target animal we
have found, but despite being notified,
Fisheries have said they will not release
these animals and instead leave them
to die,” Sea Shepherd spokesman
Jonathon Clarke said in a statement.
A NSW Primary Industries
Department spokeswoman confirmed
the department was contacted by Sea
Shepherd about a sting ray caught in its
North Coast Net Trial.
Asked why the rays were not freed, the
spokeswoman said it was important the
trail proceed “as per plans” to allow for
the best possible data.
The net trial is the second in the area,
using a different net design to try and
The first trial, which ran from early
December 2016 to late May 2017,
caught 275 animals, according to DPI.
Of the 275 animals that were caught,
nine were target sharks, meaning the
nets had just over a 3% strike rate.
Of the nine target species — which are
white, tiger and bull sharks — four were
Four bottle nose dolphins, two
loggerhead turtles and three green
turtles were caught and died in the nets,
according to DPI data.
Meanwhile rays made up almost 70%
of the bycatch. — AAP
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