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Trump ally charged with foreign lobbying

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Federal prosecutors have charged Trump’s former advisor Tom Barrack with illegally acting on behalf of the Arab Emirates to influence US foreign policy

US federal prosecutors have charged Trump’s former advisor Tom Barrack for lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. The federal prosecutors believe Barrack made efforts to influence foreign policy positions during Trump’s presidential campaign and time in office.

The court has charged him with seven counts in total, including “acting as an agent of the UAE”. Aside from foreign lobbying, he was also charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal law enforcement agents.

A spokesperson for Barrack said he will plead not guilty.

“I nailed it… for the home team”

US officials say Barrack both directly and indirectly contacted senior leaders within the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018. He spent this time promoting its foreign policy agenda in the US while acting as chairman of Trump’s Inaugural Committee.

During 2016, he praised the UAE in a speech about US energy policy. He then sent a draft of the speech to Alshahhi to give to UAE officials. In both 2016 and 2017, the UAE sent all three men talking points for Barrack’s TV appearances.

Following one appearance, Barrack emailed Alshahhi, “I nailed it. . . for the home team,” referring not to the United States but to the UAE.

Two others were also charged for using Barrack’s position to advance the interests of the UAE

The court also found Matthew Grimes and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, guilty.

Alshahhi is a UAE national. The prosecutors say he used Barrack’s status as a senior adviser to Trump to “advance the interests of the UAE”. Officials are yet to arrest Alshahhi, who fled the US in 2018.

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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Big tech caught in political drama

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Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.

 

The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture

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U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?

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The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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