Trump Lawyer’s Advice to President: Don’t Pardon Russia Probe Figures

One of U.S. President Donald Trump’s lawyers said Sunday he is advising him to not pardon anyone linked to the year-long investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election because it would “just cloud” the perception that there was wrong-doing.  

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York mayor and part of Trump’s legal team, told CNN, “You’re not going to get a pardon because you’re involved” in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. But he said that in the months to come pardons were “certainly not excluded” if Trump concluded “you’ve been treated unfairly.”

“The president has issued no pardons in this investigation,” Giuliani said. “The president is not going to issue pardons in this investigation.”

“And my advice to him, as long as I’m his lawyer, is not to do it,” he said. “Because you just cloud what is becoming now a very clear picture of an extremely unfair investigation with no criminality involved of any kind. I want that to come out loud and clear and not get clouded by anybody being fired or anybody being pardoned.”

Trump has pardoned several conservative icons in recent weeks, but Giuliani said no one being investigated by Mueller “should rely on it.”

Even so, he said, “When it’s over, hey, he’s the president of the United States. He retains his pardon power. Nobody’s taking that away from him. He can pardon in his judgment based on the Justice Department, counsel’s office, not me. I’m out of it. And I shouldn’t be involved in that process because I’m probably too rooted in his defense, but I couldn’t and I don’t want to take prerogatives away from him.“

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was jailed last week, prompting new questions whether Trump might pardon him. Manafort is accused of witness tampering in a criminal case that stems from his lobbying efforts for Ukraine years before he was a top Trump aide for nearly five months during the 2016 campaign.

Trump attacked Manafort’s jailing, saying on Twitter, “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort …. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob…. Very unfair!”

There is no indication when Mueller’s investigation might end. He is probing whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian interests to help him win and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey when he was leading the agency’s Russia investigation before Mueller, over Trump’s objections, was appointed to take over the probe.

In a new broadside against the investigation, Trump tweeted, “WITCH HUNT! There was no Russian Collusion. Oh, I see, there was no Russian Collusion, so now they look for obstruction on the no Russian Collusion. The phony Russian Collusion was a made up Hoax. Too bad they didn’t look at Crooked Hillary like this. Double Standard!” His reference to “Crooked Hillary” is his oft-repeated pejorative for his 2016 challenger, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Giuliani called for investigation of the origins of the Mueller investigation, contending it was “premised on Comey’s illegally leaked memo” about the FBI’s director’s private conversations with Trump.

“There’s a lot of unfairness out there, but we don’t know the scope of it,” Giuliani said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trump Lawyer’s Advice to President: Don’t Pardon Russia Probe Figures

One of U.S. President Donald Trump’s lawyers said Sunday he is advising him to not pardon anyone linked to the year-long investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election because it would “just cloud” the perception that there was wrong-doing.  

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York mayor and part of Trump’s legal team, told CNN, “You’re not going to get a pardon because you’re involved” in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. But he said that in the months to come pardons were “certainly not excluded” if Trump concluded “you’ve been treated unfairly.”

“The president has issued no pardons in this investigation,” Giuliani said. “The president is not going to issue pardons in this investigation.”

“And my advice to him, as long as I’m his lawyer, is not to do it,” he said. “Because you just cloud what is becoming now a very clear picture of an extremely unfair investigation with no criminality involved of any kind. I want that to come out loud and clear and not get clouded by anybody being fired or anybody being pardoned.”

Trump has pardoned several conservative icons in recent weeks, but Giuliani said no one being investigated by Mueller “should rely on it.”

Even so, he said, “When it’s over, hey, he’s the president of the United States. He retains his pardon power. Nobody’s taking that away from him. He can pardon in his judgment based on the Justice Department, counsel’s office, not me. I’m out of it. And I shouldn’t be involved in that process because I’m probably too rooted in his defense, but I couldn’t and I don’t want to take prerogatives away from him.“

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was jailed last week, prompting new questions whether Trump might pardon him. Manafort is accused of witness tampering in a criminal case that stems from his lobbying efforts for Ukraine years before he was a top Trump aide for nearly five months during the 2016 campaign.

Trump attacked Manafort’s jailing, saying on Twitter, “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort …. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob…. Very unfair!”

There is no indication when Mueller’s investigation might end. He is probing whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian interests to help him win and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey when he was leading the agency’s Russia investigation before Mueller, over Trump’s objections, was appointed to take over the probe.

In a new broadside against the investigation, Trump tweeted, “WITCH HUNT! There was no Russian Collusion. Oh, I see, there was no Russian Collusion, so now they look for obstruction on the no Russian Collusion. The phony Russian Collusion was a made up Hoax. Too bad they didn’t look at Crooked Hillary like this. Double Standard!” His reference to “Crooked Hillary” is his oft-repeated pejorative for his 2016 challenger, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Giuliani called for investigation of the origins of the Mueller investigation, contending it was “premised on Comey’s illegally leaked memo” about the FBI’s director’s private conversations with Trump.

“There’s a lot of unfairness out there, but we don’t know the scope of it,” Giuliani said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman Hurts 2 in South France with Box Cutter, is Detained

A woman crying “Allahu akbar” — “God is great” in Arabic — injured two people with a box cutter Sunday at a supermarket in southern France before she was detained.

 

A customer in the store in the maritime town of La Seyne-sur-Mer was injured in the chest and hospitalized. A woman working the cash register was hurt less seriously, French radio station Europe 1 quoted the prosecutor in nearby Toulon as saying.

 

Prosecutor Bernard Marchal said the suspect may have mental health problems. She has not been identified. Police were searching her home.

 

“It’s apparently an isolated case involving a person with psychiatric issues,” the prosecutor told Le Monde newspaper quoted the prosecutor as saying. However, that does not exclude the possibility that the suspect was radicalized, Marchal added.

 

“There is a presumption of attempted murder and … of a crime with terrorist implications,” Marchal was quoted as saying.

 

Regional newspaper Nice-Matin, which first reported the 10:30 a.m. attack, quoted an unidentified witness as saying that people in the store stopped the woman from cutting anyone else.

 

A sense of edginess has been with France since a murderous series of killings in 2015 in the name of the Islamic State group. Adding to concerns are the hundreds of French who have traveled to the Iraq-Syria war zone, or are returning as IS crumbles.

 

In March, an hours-long attack and hostage-taking in a supermarket near the southern French town of Carcassonne left four people dead. A man attacked people near the Paris Opera house in May, killing one person and injuring four, an action claimed by the Islamic State

 

Last week, a man who took hostages in a Paris building was hospitalized in a psychiatric unit.

 

 

Woman Hurts 2 in South France with Box Cutter, is Detained

A woman crying “Allahu akbar” — “God is great” in Arabic — injured two people with a box cutter Sunday at a supermarket in southern France before she was detained.

 

A customer in the store in the maritime town of La Seyne-sur-Mer was injured in the chest and hospitalized. A woman working the cash register was hurt less seriously, French radio station Europe 1 quoted the prosecutor in nearby Toulon as saying.

 

Prosecutor Bernard Marchal said the suspect may have mental health problems. She has not been identified. Police were searching her home.

 

“It’s apparently an isolated case involving a person with psychiatric issues,” the prosecutor told Le Monde newspaper quoted the prosecutor as saying. However, that does not exclude the possibility that the suspect was radicalized, Marchal added.

 

“There is a presumption of attempted murder and … of a crime with terrorist implications,” Marchal was quoted as saying.

 

Regional newspaper Nice-Matin, which first reported the 10:30 a.m. attack, quoted an unidentified witness as saying that people in the store stopped the woman from cutting anyone else.

 

A sense of edginess has been with France since a murderous series of killings in 2015 in the name of the Islamic State group. Adding to concerns are the hundreds of French who have traveled to the Iraq-Syria war zone, or are returning as IS crumbles.

 

In March, an hours-long attack and hostage-taking in a supermarket near the southern French town of Carcassonne left four people dead. A man attacked people near the Paris Opera house in May, killing one person and injuring four, an action claimed by the Islamic State

 

Last week, a man who took hostages in a Paris building was hospitalized in a psychiatric unit.

 

 

Merkel’s Coalition Government Teeters as Migration Disputes Fray EU

A deep rift over migration policy between Angela Merkel and a rebellious interior minister is threatening to upend the German chancellor’s fragile governing alliance formed earlier this year after weeks of laborious talks.

The German chancellor’s 13-year rule will be on the line in the event Horst Seehofer, a member of the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union, a junior partner in the coalition government, defies Merkel by ordering border guards to turn back migrants arriving Monday at German borders.

Neither the chancellor nor minister appeared Sunday to be in any mood to compromise. Seehofer blamed the chancellor in remarks to German newspapers for the crisis, saying it is a consequence of her 2015 decision to adopt an “open border” policy that has allowed more than a million migrants and refugees to enter Germany.

CSU’s top official in Bavaria, Markus Soder, tweeted: “We must finally secure our borders effectively. This, of course, includes rejection. Asylum tourism must be terminated.”

Analysts say Merkel would likely have no choice but to fire Seehofer for his open revolt against her if he goes ahead with his threat to shutter the border for migrants, collapsing the coalition as a consequence and triggering likely elections.

Merkel fears an abrupt shutting out of asylum-seekers by Germany will prompt other EU countries to follow suit, imperiling an orderly negotiated EU-wide deal. The stakes are high not only for her, but also for the bloc as it searches to craft a migration policy all its fractious states can agree to, and for the CSU, which faces elections in October in its home region of Bavaria and fears the rising support for the far-right AfD party.

In her weekly podcast, Merkel acknowledged the need for changes, but said, “This is a European challenge that also needs a European solution. And I view this issue as decisive for keeping Europe together.”

At the moment the member states are anything but united over migration, and in the words of British commentator and historian Niall Ferguson, the EU melting pot is at risk of melting down.

The German crisis is playing against the backdrop of drama in the Mediterranean, where Rome is refusing to allow NGO ships carrying migrants rescued at sea to dock at Italian ports. It comes as the nationalist populist-led governments of Italy, Austria and Hungary are negotiating what they are terming an “axis of the willing,” an alliance of anti-migration member states that will adopt a hard collective line on asylum-seekers in order to provoke a confrontation with EU leaders later this month.

In 2016, 2.4 million migrants entered the European Union, bringing the total of the foreign-born population in the bloc to nearly 40 million.

Having ridden into power on a tide of anti-migrant sentiment, populists in Central Europe have been further galvanized by Italy’s coalition government formed by Matteo Salvini’s far-right Lega and Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star Movement (M5S).

The new Italian government increased the political temperature over migration earlier this month when Interior Minister Salvini announced a ban on humanitarian rescue ships docking at Italian ports after picking up migrants in the waters off Libya. Salvini argues the rescue ships are indirectly encouraging smugglers and migrants and are in effect in league with traffickers.

On Sunday three ships, an NGO vessel and two Italian naval ships, carrying more than 600 migrants docked in the Spanish port of Valencia. They were rescued a week ago off the coast of Libya and have remained at sea while the European Union insisted Italy had a duty to admit them. The ban prompted an exchange of insults between Paris and Rome.

Speaking Friday in Paris after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte said EU rules have to change with a re-writing of the Dublin Treaty that requires migrants to claim asylum in the first country they arrive.” The concept itself of the ‘state of first entry’ must be rethought,” he said. President Macron argued against any unilateral action by individual member state, saying there had to be an overall European response to migrants.

But Macron accepts change is needed, saying “the existing European response has not adapted.”

In Valencia, the Spanish Red Cross set up a reception center staffed by more than 1,000 volunteers and 400 translators.

More than 23,000 migrants have reached European shores this year, with about 42 percent arriving in Italy from Libya. Thirty-eight percent arrived in Greece from Turkey and 20 percent arrived in Spain from Morocco, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Merkel’s Coalition Government Teeters as Migration Disputes Fray EU

A deep rift over migration policy between Angela Merkel and a rebellious interior minister is threatening to upend the German chancellor’s fragile governing alliance formed earlier this year after weeks of laborious talks.

The German chancellor’s 13-year rule will be on the line in the event Horst Seehofer, a member of the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union, a junior partner in the coalition government, defies Merkel by ordering border guards to turn back migrants arriving Monday at German borders.

Neither the chancellor nor minister appeared Sunday to be in any mood to compromise. Seehofer blamed the chancellor in remarks to German newspapers for the crisis, saying it is a consequence of her 2015 decision to adopt an “open border” policy that has allowed more than a million migrants and refugees to enter Germany.

CSU’s top official in Bavaria, Markus Soder, tweeted: “We must finally secure our borders effectively. This, of course, includes rejection. Asylum tourism must be terminated.”

Analysts say Merkel would likely have no choice but to fire Seehofer for his open revolt against her if he goes ahead with his threat to shutter the border for migrants, collapsing the coalition as a consequence and triggering likely elections.

Merkel fears an abrupt shutting out of asylum-seekers by Germany will prompt other EU countries to follow suit, imperiling an orderly negotiated EU-wide deal. The stakes are high not only for her, but also for the bloc as it searches to craft a migration policy all its fractious states can agree to, and for the CSU, which faces elections in October in its home region of Bavaria and fears the rising support for the far-right AfD party.

In her weekly podcast, Merkel acknowledged the need for changes, but said, “This is a European challenge that also needs a European solution. And I view this issue as decisive for keeping Europe together.”

At the moment the member states are anything but united over migration, and in the words of British commentator and historian Niall Ferguson, the EU melting pot is at risk of melting down.

The German crisis is playing against the backdrop of drama in the Mediterranean, where Rome is refusing to allow NGO ships carrying migrants rescued at sea to dock at Italian ports. It comes as the nationalist populist-led governments of Italy, Austria and Hungary are negotiating what they are terming an “axis of the willing,” an alliance of anti-migration member states that will adopt a hard collective line on asylum-seekers in order to provoke a confrontation with EU leaders later this month.

In 2016, 2.4 million migrants entered the European Union, bringing the total of the foreign-born population in the bloc to nearly 40 million.

Having ridden into power on a tide of anti-migrant sentiment, populists in Central Europe have been further galvanized by Italy’s coalition government formed by Matteo Salvini’s far-right Lega and Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star Movement (M5S).

The new Italian government increased the political temperature over migration earlier this month when Interior Minister Salvini announced a ban on humanitarian rescue ships docking at Italian ports after picking up migrants in the waters off Libya. Salvini argues the rescue ships are indirectly encouraging smugglers and migrants and are in effect in league with traffickers.

On Sunday three ships, an NGO vessel and two Italian naval ships, carrying more than 600 migrants docked in the Spanish port of Valencia. They were rescued a week ago off the coast of Libya and have remained at sea while the European Union insisted Italy had a duty to admit them. The ban prompted an exchange of insults between Paris and Rome.

Speaking Friday in Paris after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte said EU rules have to change with a re-writing of the Dublin Treaty that requires migrants to claim asylum in the first country they arrive.” The concept itself of the ‘state of first entry’ must be rethought,” he said. President Macron argued against any unilateral action by individual member state, saying there had to be an overall European response to migrants.

But Macron accepts change is needed, saying “the existing European response has not adapted.”

In Valencia, the Spanish Red Cross set up a reception center staffed by more than 1,000 volunteers and 400 translators.

More than 23,000 migrants have reached European shores this year, with about 42 percent arriving in Italy from Libya. Thirty-eight percent arrived in Greece from Turkey and 20 percent arrived in Spain from Morocco, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Greece, Macedonia Sign Deal Ending Name Dispute

The foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia signed an accord Sunday to rename the former Yugoslav republic the “Republic of North Macedonia.”

The landmark accord follows decades of inconclusive talks that soured relations between the two countries and held up the admission of the Balkan state into the EU and NATO, of which Greece is a member.

The agreement still requires the approval of both parliaments and a referendum in Macedonia.

“We have a historic responsibility that this deal is not held in abeyance, and I am confident that we will manage it,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said as he and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev received a standing ovation from guests at a lakeside ceremony.

Tsipras survived a no-confidence vote mounted by Greece’s opposition in parliament Saturday, but the depth of public emotion against the deal is strong.

Up to 70 percent of Greeks object to the compromise, an opinion poll by the Proto Thema newspaper showed Saturday. 

Under the deal, Greece will lift its objections to the renamed nation joining the EU and NATO. 

“Our two countries have to turn from the past and look to the future,” Zaev said. “We were bold enough to take a step forward.”

Greece has been in dispute with Macedonia since 1991 over the former Yugoslav republic’s name, arguing it could imply territorial claims over the Greek province of Macedonia and an appropriation of ancient Greek culture and civilization.

The subject is an emotional one for many Greeks. On Saturday, thousands of protesters outside the parliament building shouted “traitor, traitor!” as lawmakers debated inside.

Greece, Macedonia Sign Deal Ending Name Dispute

The foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia signed an accord Sunday to rename the former Yugoslav republic the “Republic of North Macedonia.”

The landmark accord follows decades of inconclusive talks that soured relations between the two countries and held up the admission of the Balkan state into the EU and NATO, of which Greece is a member.

The agreement still requires the approval of both parliaments and a referendum in Macedonia.

“We have a historic responsibility that this deal is not held in abeyance, and I am confident that we will manage it,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said as he and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev received a standing ovation from guests at a lakeside ceremony.

Tsipras survived a no-confidence vote mounted by Greece’s opposition in parliament Saturday, but the depth of public emotion against the deal is strong.

Up to 70 percent of Greeks object to the compromise, an opinion poll by the Proto Thema newspaper showed Saturday. 

Under the deal, Greece will lift its objections to the renamed nation joining the EU and NATO. 

“Our two countries have to turn from the past and look to the future,” Zaev said. “We were bold enough to take a step forward.”

Greece has been in dispute with Macedonia since 1991 over the former Yugoslav republic’s name, arguing it could imply territorial claims over the Greek province of Macedonia and an appropriation of ancient Greek culture and civilization.

The subject is an emotional one for many Greeks. On Saturday, thousands of protesters outside the parliament building shouted “traitor, traitor!” as lawmakers debated inside.

How a Puerto Rican From the Bronx Became the King of Ukrainian Dance

A Puerto Rican from the Bronx, Orlando Pagan fell in love with Ukrainian folklore when he was a teenager. He used to dance in the Syzokryli Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, and now he leads it. Pagan believes Ukrainian dances are truly special and hopes to make them as popular as the Argentine tango or the Austrian waltz. Carolyn Presutti narrates this report by Tatiana Vorozhko.

Time Machine Camera Means Never Missing the Moment

It’s happened to many of us. You fumble for your camera to record a precious moment but you’re a little too late. A delayed touch of the button, an opportunity missed forever. But now entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are hoping to change that dynamic with a new camera that can capture events even before you hit the record button. VOA’s Julie Taboh has more.