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Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX fraud trial may be delayed



A U.S. District Judge may postpone the fraud trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argue they have not had enough time to review the evidence crucial for building his defence.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, presiding over the case in Manhattan, suggested a potential five-month delay to the hearing initially slated for October 3 during a virtual hearing.

Bankman-Fried’s defence lawyers contended that the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn had failed to provide their client with the necessary hard drives containing evidence for thorough review.

At 31 years old, Bankman-Fried has entered a not guilty plea against charges of fraud and conspiracy linked to the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange in November 2022, leading to its subsequent bankruptcy.

Judge Kaplan ordered Bankman-Fried’s incarceration on August 11, citing concerns that the former billionaire had tampered with witnesses while on $250 million bail, confined to his parents’ residence in Palo Alto, California.

His legal team sought his return to his parents’ custody, arguing that it would allow him to adequately prepare for the upcoming trial.

Judge Kaplan, while open to considering a delay, emphasised that the volume of evidence alone might not warrant postponement.

He emphasised the necessity for the defence to demonstrate a genuine and unforeseen need for the delay.

He also proposed the potential consolidation of Bankman-Fried’s trial with a previously scheduled trial on March 11, 2024, pertaining to additional charges stemming from his extradition from the Bahamas in December 2022.

Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, acknowledged the need for a swift decision regarding any delay request.

Judge Kaplan had previously denied a defence plea to exclude around 4 million pages of documents stored on Google, which were turned over by prosecutors last week.

Bankman-Fried’s legal team argued that the avalanche of evidence hindered his constitutional right to a fair trial.

The prosecution, led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, attributed the delayed submission of evidence to Google’s slow response to a subpoena.

They clarified that the majority of the evidence was sourced from Bankman-Fried’s personal Google account, which he had access to before his bail was revoked.

In a recent development, the prosecution delivered a hard drive containing evidence to Bankman-Fried’s location at the Metropolitan Detention Center. As deliberations continue, the fate of the trial hangs in the balance, awaiting a decision that will address both the concerns of the defence and the need for a fair legal process.

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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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