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Federal Judge sets March 2024 as start date for Trump election trial



This date marks the middle of the Republican primary elections. Trump’s defence lawyers had pushed for a 2026 trial, but were rejected.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has announced a trial date of March 4, 2024. This timing has sparked speculation about the potential impact of the trial on the 2024 presidential race, placing it squarely within the Republican primaries and on the eve of Super Tuesday.

The decision was reached after a hearing on Monday during which Judge Chutkan considered arguments from both Trump’s legal team and federal prosecutors regarding the appropriate trial timeline.

Special counsel Jack Smith proposed a January trial start, with jury selection commencing in December of the present year. Conversely, Trump’s lawyers advocated for a trial delay until April 2026, after the next presidential election.

Judge Chutkan expressed her dissatisfaction with the extreme differences in proposed schedules, asserting, “Neither of them is acceptable.” She emphasised that the trial should be a priority for Trump and declined to alter the schedule based on other professional commitments, even if they involve high-profile individuals.

Chutkan underscored the importance of a fair and prompt administration of justice for the public interest. In response, Trump’s legal team argued that a trial in the coming year would infringe upon the former president’s rights, citing the extensive volume of evidence prosecutors have provided.

Calling the proposed schedule a “show trial,” Trump’s lawyer, John Lauro, stated, “Mr. Trump is not above the law, but he is not below the law.”

Following Judge Chutkan’s decision, Lauro registered his objection on the record, asserting that the trial date would hinder their ability to adequately represent Trump. Acknowledging his objection, Chutkan proceeded with the proceedings.

While the special counsel’s request for an early trial was deemed premature by Chutkan, Trump’s suggested date of 2026 was characterised as unreasonable.

Chutkan rebuffed the notion, stating, “Discovery in 2023 is not sitting in a warehouse with boxes of paper looking at every single page.”

Chutkan firmly stated that the trial would not occur in 2026, highlighting that Trump’s legal team has had ample time to prepare.

The existence of a grand jury investigating Trump has been public knowledge since September 2022, and many witnesses’ identities have been disclosed.

The federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., recently indicted Trump on four charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote.

Trump, having pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in August, faces allegations of conspiring to undermine the legitimate outcome of the 2020 presidential election and impede the certification of its results.

Prosecutors have pushed for a January trial start, citing the importance of a swift trial, especially considering the nature of the case involving a former president.

Meanwhile, Trump’s defence, aiming for an April 2026 trial, has cited the extensive discovery process and Trump’s ongoing legal entanglements in other jurisdictions. As the legal proceedings progress, their intersection with the 2024 presidential race remains a topic of intrigue and speculation.

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COP28: Global effort to phase out fossil fuels



World leaders at COP28 have intensified their commitment to combat climate change by embarking on a bold initiative to phase out fossil fuels.

The United Nations climate talks, held in a virtual format due to ongoing pandemic concerns, saw representatives from nearly 200 countries coming together to address the urgent need for action on the climate crisis.

The decision to focus on ending fossil fuel use marks a significant departure from previous climate negotiations.

Countries have traditionally grappled with setting emissions reduction targets, but this year’s conference places a strong emphasis on the need to transition away from the reliance on coal, oil, and natural gas. Experts argue that this shift is critical to limiting global temperature rise and avoiding the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

Key highlights of the COP28 agreement include setting ambitious deadlines for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, promoting renewable energy sources, and encouraging the development of green technologies.

The conference also established a fund to support developing nations in their transition away from fossil fuels, recognizing that these countries often face the greatest challenges in achieving sustainability.

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Russian police raid Moscow gay clubs



Russian authorities conducted raids on several gay clubs in Moscow, according to reports from various media outlets.

The raids have sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ+ community and have raised concerns about the ongoing crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia.

Eyewitnesses and clubgoers describe a heavy police presence during the raids, with officers reportedly detaining patrons and staff members.

The reasons behind these raids remain unclear, but they have ignited a fierce debate on social media and within human rights organizations.

International LGBTQ+ rights advocates are calling on the Russian government to address these actions and protect the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ individuals in the country.

The raids have also drawn attention to Russia’s controversial “gay propaganda” law, which has been criticized for its potential to fuel discrimination and violence against LGBTQ+ people.

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UK delays Jeff Zucker’s Telegraph deal for inquiry



The UK government has decided to put a hold on the proposed acquisition of The Telegraph newspaper by media mogul Jeff Zucker’s conglomerate.

According to a recent report, this decision has been made in order to conduct further investigations into potential regulatory concerns surrounding the deal.

The move comes amidst growing concerns over media consolidation and its impact on media diversity and competition.

The government aims to ensure that the acquisition would not result in a concentration of media power that could potentially stifle independent journalism and diverse voices in the industry.

This decision has sparked debates about the balance between media ownership and the preservation of media plurality in the UK. Supporters of the deal argue that it could lead to much-needed investments in The Telegraph, while critics worry about the potential for Zucker’s conglomerate to wield too much influence over the media landscape.

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