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Trump indicted again

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Former US President Donald Trump has been charged with attempting to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state of Georgia.

A grand jury voted to charge Mr Trump and 18 others with counts that include racketeering.

There are 41 charges, with 13 against Mr Trump. It is the fourth time he has been criminally charged this year.

He has denied all charges. His campaign said the US had become “a Marxist Third World dictatorship”.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis launched an investigation in February 2021 into allegations of election meddling against Mr Trump and his associates.

After the indictment was issued on Monday night, she announced she was giving defendants the opportunity to voluntarily surrender no later than noon on Friday 25 August. She said she plans to try all 19 accused together.

The list of alleged co-conspirators includes former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former White House lawyer John Eastman.

Others include a former justice department official, Jeffrey Clark, and Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis – two Trump lawyers who amplified unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

The indictment says the defendants “knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump”.

The former president is accused in the 98-page charge sheet of the following felony counts, including:

– Violating Georgia’s racketeering act
– Solicitation of violation of oath by public officer
– Conspiracy to impersonate a public officer
– Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
– False statements and writings and filing false documents

The indictment refers to the defendants as a “criminal organization”, accusing them of other crimes including influencing witnesses, computer trespass, theft and perjury.

The most serious charge, violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Rico) Act, is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison.

The act – designed to help take down organised criminal syndicates like the mafia – helps prosecutors connect the dots between underlings who broke laws and those who gave them orders.

Mr Trump, currently the frontrunner in the Republican Party’s race to pick its next candidate for the White House, said the investigation by Ms Willis, a Democrat, was politically motivated.

In a statement, the Trump campaign described the district attorney as a “rabid partisan” who had filed “these bogus indictments” to interfere with the 2024 presidential race and “damage the dominant Trump campaign”.

“This latest co-ordinated strike by a biased prosecutor in an overwhelmingly Democrat jurisdiction not only betrays the trust of the American people, but also exposes the true motivation driving their fabricated accusations,” said the statement.

He is the first former president in US history to face criminal charges.

(BBC News)

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Kamala Harris endorsed as new Democratic nominee as Biden steps down

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US President Joe Biden announces he’s withdrawing from the race to be the next president, after mounting pressure from Democrats.

He says his decision “is in the best interest of my party and the country” – but will stay on for the final six months of his term.

Biden has endorsed Kamala Harris, the current vice-president, to be the new Democratic nominee.

Former President Barack Obama says Biden is “one of America’s most consequential presidents”, praising him as a “patriot of the highest order”.

It comes four months before Americans go to the polls on 5 November.

Biden, 81, had faced increasing calls to step aside after a faltering debate performance against Republican candidate Donald Trump in June.

(BBC News)

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11 dead after bridge collapses in China (Video)

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Eleven people were confirmed dead as of Saturday morning following the partial collapse of a highway bridge in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, local authorities said.

The bridge, located at Zhashui County in Shangluo City, collapsed at approximately 20:40 on Friday due to a sudden downpour and flash floods, according to the provincial publicity department.

By 10:00 on Saturday, rescue teams had recovered five vehicles that had fallen into the river.

Rescue operations are still underway.

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105 killed in Bangladesh protests; nationwide curfew imposed

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At least 105 people have been killed in Bangladesh as police cracked down on unrelenting student-led protests against govt job quotas despite a ban on public gatherings.

The govt has decided to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy the army.

Earlier in the day, telecommunications were disrupted and television news channels went off the air.

Authorities had cut some mobile telephone services the previous day to try to quell the unrest. 

According to reports, police and security officials fired bullets and tear gas at protesters and banned all gatherings in the capital Dhaka. 

The protests, which began weeks ago but escalated sharply this week, represent the biggest challenge to PM Sheikh Hasina since she won a fourth consecutive term in office after the January polls.

The government has deployed police and paramilitary forces across the capital to lock down campuses and break up protests. 

On Wednesday, universities including the country’s largest suspended classes and closed dormitories, and on Friday police in Dhaka said they were banning all gatherings and demonstrations in the capital. 

According to foreign media, border guard officials fired at a crowd of more than 1,000 protesters who had gathered outside the head office of state-run Bangladesh Television, which was attacked on Thursday. 

The border guards shot at the crowd with rifles and sound grenades, while police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Bullets littered the streets, which were also marked by smears of blood. 

Internet services and mobile data were widely disrupted on Thursday night and remained down on Friday in the capital, Dhaka. 

Social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp were also not loading. A statement from the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said they were unable to ensure service after their data center was attacked by demonstrators, who set fire to equipment. 

Student protesters said they will extend their calls to impose a shutdown on Friday, and urged mosques to hold funeral prayers for those who have been killed.

Source: Times Of India

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