Tuesday, Oct. 03, 2023 |
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Top Trump executive pleads guilty in tax scheme
Allen H. Weisselberg, one of Donald Trump’s most trusted lieutenants, stood before a judge in a lower Manhattan courtroom Thursday and admitted that he had conspired with the former president’s company to commit numerous crimes. Weisselberg’s guilty plea, which followed more than a year of the Manhattan district attorney’s office pressuring him to cooperate in a broader investigation of Trump, painted a damning picture of the beleaguered company, which now faces significant financial penalties if it loses its own trial on similar charges. But Weisselberg refused to turn on Trump himself, something prosecutors had hoped he would do since they charged him with 15 felonies last July.
Stocks end higher on Wall Street after more choppy trading
Stocks ended modestly higher on Wall Street after another day of choppy trading. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% Thursday, putting it just barely back into the green for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a touch higher. The Nasdaq also rose as technology companies gained ground. Cisco Systems rose after turning in stronger-than-expected quarterly results. Energy companies also climbed along with rising crude oil prices. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.87%. The U.S. government reported that slightly fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market remains strong.
Three men charged in prison killing of Whitey Bulger
Three men were indicted Wednesday in the death of notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, who was beaten to death four years ago in a West Virginia federal prison where he was serving a sentence for crimes that terrorized Boston in the 1970s and ’80s. Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 55, Paul J. “Pauly” DeCologero, 48, and Sean McKinnon, 36, were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. The three men were incarcerated with Bulger, 89, who had been serving two life terms for his role in 11 murders committed when he controlled Boston’s underworld for several decades.
Judge limits privilege defense in AZ Mormon sex abuse case
An Arizona judge has ruled that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may not use the state’s “clergy-penitent privilege” to refuse to answer questions or turn over documents in a child sex-abuse case.Clergy in Arizona and many other states are required to report information about child sexual abuse or neglect to authorities. But there’s an exception if they learn of the abuse through spiritual confessions. Judge Laura Cardinal said the late Paul Adams waived his right to keep his confessions secret when he posted videos of himself sexually abusing his two daughters on the Internet and boasted of the abuse on social media.
Georgia election probe runs into resistance from witnesses
Prosecutors investigating whether Donald Trump committed crimes as he sought to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia are running into increasing resistance as they seek to call witnesses to testify before a special grand jury. The latest illustration of that came Wednesday when lawyers for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp filed a motion to quash a subpoena for his testimony, accusing the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of pursuing his testimony for “improper political purposes.” Willis rejected that characterization, describing it as dishonest. Kemp is just one of several witnesses who have pushed back against Willis’ attempt to compel their testimony in a case that has high stakes for Trump.
WHO: World coronavirus cases fall 24%; deaths rise in Asia
New coronavirus cases reported globally in the last week dropped by nearly a quarter while deaths fell by 6%. That’s according to the latest report on the pandemic released Thursday by the World Health Organization. The U.N. health agency reported 5.4 million new COVID-19 cases last week, a decline of 24% from the previous week. Infections fell everywhere in the world, including by nearly 40% in Africa and Europe and by a third in the Middle East. Still, the number of COVID deaths rose in the Western Pacific by 31% and in Southeast Asia by 12% while falling or remaining stable everywhere else.
Flooding adds to Afghanistan’s crises
Over the past week, flash floods across Afghanistan have killed at least 43 people and injured 106 more, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Disaster Management. The floods’ toll, local officials say, is likely to rise as more bodies are discovered. Around 790 homes have been damaged or destroyed in the flooding, which has affected nearly 4,000 families, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The flooding offered the latest blow to Afghanistan, which has been seized by an economic collapse and a spate of natural disasters and deadly terrorist attacks in recent months.
Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of plotting attack on nuclear plant
Tensions around the nuclear power plant on the front lines of the war in Ukraine escalated sharply Thursday, as the Russian and Ukrainian militaries traded charges that each was preparing to stage an attack on the plant in coming days, risking a catastrophic release of radiation. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that the Ukrainian military was preparing a “terrorist attack” on the sprawling Zaporizhzhia power plant complex, prompting the Ukrainian military intelligence agency to respond that the Russian warning was, in fact, a pretext for Moscow to stage a “provocation” of some kind there Friday.
China’s heat wave strains economy
Faced with China’s most searing heat wave in six decades, factories in the country’s southwest are being forced to close. A severe drought has shrunk rivers, disrupting the region’s supply of water and hydropower and prompting officials to limit electricity to businesses and homes. Some office buildings were ordered to shut off air conditioning to spare an overextended electrical grid, and local governments urged residents and businesses to conserve energy. The rolling blackouts and factory shutdowns, which affected Toyota and Foxconn, a supplier for Apple, point to the ways that extreme weather is adding to China’s economic woes.
By wire sources
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