U.S. confirms nation’s first case of omicron Covid variant in California

US health officials have confirmed the new country’s first case. strongly mutated coronavirus variant named Omicron in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday.

White House senior medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the person who was fully vaccinated had just returned to the San Francisco area from a trip to South Africa on November 22nd and tested positive on November 29th.

“The person is in self-quarantine and all close contacts have been contacted and all close contacts have so far tested negative,” he announced at a press conference at the White House, at which further details on the case were disclosed. “We feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms, but that symptoms actually appear to be improving.”

The CDC said genome sequencing was originally performed at the University of California at San Francisco and confirmed by the CDC as an Omicron variant.

California Governor Gavin Newsom warned residents not to panic. “But we should stay vigilant,” he said on Twitter. “That means get vaccinated. Get empowered. Wear a mask indoors.” Newsom has scheduled a press conference on the variant at 3 p.m. ET. Newsom and local officials in San Francisco said they did not expect to put new restrictions on residents in the face of the Omicron.

“There is more panic than information about this new variant,” Newsom said, adding that everyone needs to be more vigilant, but bans are not being considered. “I think we can communicate to avoid closings, we can avoid closing our schools or shops. None of us want that to happen. “

Since South Africa first reported the variant to the World Health Organization a week ago it was found in the Canada, UK, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Hong Kong, among others. World leaders are on high alert and fear that the virus is already spreading around the world.

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that Omicron has been reported in at least 23 countries.

Fauci said over the weekend that the variant would inevitably arrive in the US. Two cases were identified in Ontario, Canada, on Sunday. The variant originally known as B.1.1.529 was first discovered in Botswana and the South African province of Gauteng, where Johannesburg is located.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel warned on Monday that Omicron had already spread around the world. He pointed to flights arriving in Amsterdam from South Africa on Friday, when 61 out of 624 passengers tested positive for Covid. A total of 14 of them are infected with the Omicron strain, said the Dutch health authorities.

The Portuguese health authorities announced on Monday that 13 members and employees of a professional football team in Lisbon became infected with the variant after one of their players returned from a trip to South Africa.

“We also believe that it is already there in most countries,” said Bancel. “I believe that most of the countries that have had direct flights from South Africa in the past seven to 10 days already have cases in their country that they may not be aware of.”

The USA a travel ban was imposed from Monday for non-citizens who have traveled in the past 14 days in South Africa and seven other nearby countries. The UK and the European Union have similar travel restrictions in place.

President Joe Biden said Monday directs the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use “the fastest, no-compromise method available” to approve and bring potential vaccines for Omikron to market.

Current Covid vaccines are believed to provide at least some protection from the highly mutated Omicron strain, and booster vaccinations “greatly strengthen that protection,” Biden said in a White House speech.

Omicron was named “Variant of concern“By the World Health Organization on Friday, meaning it is more contagious, virulent or adept at bypassing public health measures, vaccines and therapeutics. The variant contains more than 30 mutations in the spike protein that allows the virus to enter the body. The new strain has a total of around 50 mutations, 10 of them in the receptor binding domain, the part of the virus that comes into contact with cells first.

Officials have warned that many of these mutations could lead to increased antibody resistance and transmissibility, which could limit the effectiveness of Covid vaccines.

“The molecular profile of the types of mutations you see (in Omicron) suggests that they may be more transmissible and elude some of the protection offered by vaccines,” Fauci said Wednesday. “But we don’t know that now.”

He said we need to prepare that immun protection from vaccines and recovery from Covid against Omicron could be diminished and stressed the need for boosters.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, Chair of the South African Medical Association, described the symptoms associated with Omicron as “extremely mild” until now. However, Bancel cautioned that the symptoms reported in South Africa may not be a good predictor of the variant’s virulence, with less than 5% of the population being over 60 and far fewer comorbidities than in the US and Europe, where people do tend to get older and sicker.

“I think today it’s really impossible to know … I don’t think what is going to happen in South Africa in the next week or two will predict the full virulence of a virus,” said Bancel.

Drug manufacturers have responded quickly to the new variant. Pfizer and BioNTech said they could study Omicron and adjust their vaccine if necessary. Johnson & Johnson said it was already testing its vaccine against the variant. Modern said it would test three booster candidates against Omicron, including a higher dose of its original Covid booster. The company also said it will develop a booster dose specific to the variant.

For Americans going on vacation, they should still feel safe after Fauci celebrating indoors with the vaccinated family and friends.

“You can feel safe without wearing a mask and having dinner or a reception,” he said. “But if you are in a public gathering where you do not know the vaccination status of the people involved, it is very advisable to wear a mask.”

– CNBC’s Robert Towey and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.

Two defendants in shell firm inventory hijacking case set to plead responsible

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Two of the three men charged with a bold plot to hijack dormant mailbox companies and fraudulently pump up their stocks will now plead guilty to the case in October, court records show.

One of the defendants, Christopher James Rajkaran of Queens, New York and Guyana, had a hearing in Minnesota federal court scheduled for October 7th, records show.

A judge last week denied Rajkaran’s recent efforts to bail out a Minnesota prison and said he posed “a serious risk of no-show”. Rajkaran’s attorney declined to comment on Tuesday.

The other defendant, Mark Allen Miller, who is free with an unsecured personal appreciation loan of $ 25,000, is due to plead guilty in the same court on October 14, according to an amendment to the plea filing last week.

Miller’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Miller, a general contractor who lives in Breezy Point, Minnesota and Rajkaran, previously pleaded not guilty to 15 securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and wire transfer fraud cases.

Their amendment notices do not state which crimes they are guilty of.

The third defendant in the case, Saeid Jaberian, remains on his way to trial for the time being.

Jaberian, a Minnesota resident also known as Andre Jaberian, has pleaded not guilty to the same charges as the other two men and is free with an unsecured loan of $ 25,000.

The trio were charged with grand jury charges in June on charges of using fake resignation letters, allegedly from other people, to take control of four mailbox companies. digitalization, Include stocks, Bell Buckle Holdings, and Utilities aerospace industry – from 2017 to 2019.

The indictment states that Miller and Jaberian, as well as an unidentified person related to Miller, actually became the nominal CEOs and presidents of the targeted companies.

The men are accused of using the Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR public filing system and fake press releases to inflate these companies’ stock prices by claiming they had new business opportunities. The companies actually had no business or income to speak of, the indictment said.

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According to a court record, the men bought millions of shares in the companies, in many cases for far less than a cent a share, which were then sold over-the-counter with profits of up to 900%.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota, who refused to comment on Miller and Rajkaran’s scheduled hearings Tuesday, previously said the three men reportedly made hundreds of thousands of dollars from illegal profits.

Jaberian’s attorney said in a court case in late August that “in a future trial, Jaberian’s defense will require the allegation that Miller tricked him” into unwittingly participating in a plot to kidnap a dormant mailbox company.

The SEC separately sued Miller in a civil lawsuit in June who accuses him of “having a fraudulent system to target at least seven inactive penny stock companies … [companies] with the intention of capitalizing on a ‘pump and dump’ of the stock. “

The inactive companies that Miller allegedly targeted in the SEC complaint included the four named in the indictment as well Strategic asset leasing, Simulated environment concepts, and Bebida drink.

When he was charged, Miller was was involved in an attempt to gain control of a penny stock company in Florida, New World Gold Corp.which is not cited as one of its alleged targets in either criminal or civil proceedings by the SEC.

Müller voluntarily dropped a lawsuit he had Filed in Florida as part of its efforts less than two weeks after CNBC announced its stake in New World Gold.

New World Gold’s share price climbed from a high of $ 0.0275 per share on June 3 – two weeks before news of Miller’s criminal case broke – to $ 0.0092 per share on Tuesday afternoon.

NWGC stock was down more than 47% in trading by late Tuesday, with more than 81 million shares changing hands.

The company’s alleged Twitter feed Tuesday afternoon announced that its references had been withdrawn by the OTC Markets Group, which organizes the listing of OTC stocks on three marketplaces, based on “conflicting statements in its disclosure and filing filings” on New World Gold .

These materials “relate to the timing and validity of your appointment as Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Company,” OTC Markets wrote in an email to alleged New World Gold CEO Robert Honigford.

A message that CNBC New World Gold sent for a comment to the email address listed in a press release announcing the termination of its OTC Markets account was not immediately replied to.

The OTC Markets Group declined to comment on New World Gold, but confirmed the authenticity of the email quoted in the press release linked to the tweet.

China partially shuts down port after one Covid case

Heavy cranes in the port of Ningbo in China.

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China closed a key terminal in its port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, the world’s third largest port, after a worker was discovered to be infected with Covid – a move that is likely to put further pressure on already congested utility networks.

It was the second time this year that the country ceased operations at one of its major ports.

Analysts say China’s “zero tolerance” approach to Covid will tighten already stressed supply chains this year. Some warn that this may not be the last port closure as long as Beijing takes this stance.

Dawn Tiura, CEO of the Sourcing Industry Group – an association for the procurement and procurement industry, said China’s stance will lead to “serious” ramifications for the supply chain.

“China has zero tolerance for COVID. One person who tests positive is enough to close (the) port, ”she told CNBC in an email.

Ningbo-Zhoushan is the third largest container volume in the world. According to the World Shipping Council, 27.49 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of container handling were handled in 2019. The container volume rose in 2020 by almost 5% to 28.72 million TEU.

As long as the authorities adhere to this “zero covid” stance, there is still a risk of sudden disruptions due to tests or bans …

Nick Marro

Economist Intelligence Unit

All incoming and outgoing services at the Meishan Terminal in the port of Zhoushan were suspended until further notice on Wednesday. according to Chinese state media. The terminal is the key to processing shipments to Europe and North America.

Supply chains have already been through crises like the this year Lack of shipping containers, and the Incident in the Suez Canal. In June, Covid infections caused disruption Shipping centers in southern Chinaincluding major ports of Shenzhen and Guangzhou – the first time China has shut down ports due to Covid cases.

Effects of China’s “zero covid” stance

China’s zero tolerance for Covid suggests this latest port disruption may not be the last, said Nick Marro, head of global trade at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“China’s ‘zero-covid’ approach means officials will prioritize containment of the pandemic above all else, especially given the highly contagious nature of the Delta tribe and the risks the current outbreak poses to future economic performance in the third quarter “He said in a note on Wednesday.

“As long as the authorities maintain this ‘zero covid’ stance, there is still a risk of sudden interference from tests or bans, which ties all hopes of normalcy closely to factors such as national vaccination deadlines,” he added.

China is experiencing a resurgence of Covid cases thanks to the highly transferable delta variant. The daily cases exceeded the 140 mark on Monday – the highest number of daily infections since January, according to Reuters. Chinese authorities have ordered Mass tests in some areas and widespread movement restrictions in big cities like Beijing.

The suspension of services at the Meishan Terminal comes as container shipping rates continue to rise this year. The container freight rates from China and East Asia to the west coast of North America have risen by over 270% to over 15,800 USD per TEU this year, according to the global container freight index from Freightos Baltic. Meanwhile, rates on the east coast have risen by over 220% to over USD 17,500 per TEU, according to the index.

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Analysts warn of further delays and consumers will likely have to bear the cost as the holiday season approaches.

Tiura pointed out that the June Covid outbreak caused Shenzhen’s main Yantian terminal to cut 70% of its exports. The waiting time for processing shipments has been tripled from 3 days to 8 or 9 days.

Given that Ningbo-Zhoushan is the third largest container port in the world, this closure makes the already dire situation much worse.

Dawn Tiura

CEO, Sourcing Industry Group

“If we see something similar here, and the time it takes to move ships through port doubles or triples, we will have a significant and long-term impact on exports that will impact the holiday season and drive inflation,” she said.

“The shortage of containers was already affecting global supply chains. Given that Ningbo-Zhoushan is the third largest container port in the world, this closure will make an already dire situation much worse, ”said Tiura.

She said container capacity is likely to become more expensive and shippers are likely to pass the cost on to consumers, further fueling global inflation ahead of the all-important holiday season.

Mario Ciabarra, CEO of digital analytics company Quantum Metric, said retailers will face a lot of uncertainty before the holiday season and one of them will be inventory challenges.

“Inventories will be the primary concern of retailers as they face the decision to either have limited or no stocks of certain items, or instead face higher costs associated with air freight,” he told CNBC.

Marro from the EIU also pointed out disruptions that are exacerbated by the key demand before the Christmas season.

“Trade disruptions pose problems not only to shipping and consumers, but also to manufacturers who rely on critical import components,” he said.

– CNBC’s Iris Wang contributed to this report.

Legal professionals for victims in Flint water lawsuit make case for extra money in settlement

FLINT, me. – On Monday, lawyers for Flint residents were given the opportunity to bring their case that the $ 650 million settlement with the state is simply not enough because of the water crisis.

A total of 50,000 people have signed up to receive a stake, and many of them are unsatisfied with a variety of issues, including $ 200 million in legal fees.

Flint, is still grappling with the effects of the water crisis. Now the fight for money. From Monday, the victims’ lawyers pleaded for more money in court. Soon the victims will tell their own stories.

Here’s a look at the numbers.

  • 50,000+ registered

  • Money mostly for kids, businesses hit by the lead water crisis

  • Comparative deal for $ 640 million

  • Lawyers charge 32% legal fees

  • Balance about $ 435 million

When the deal was first announced, the governor was optimistic.

“It is our duty to make the best offer to Flint’s children and families,” said Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

But since then, some, including Flint’s former mayor, have been saying the number should be closer to 1 billion.

“It’s just not enough for those who have suffered,” said former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the statement on Monday.

“Our state owes the people of Flint a path to healing, not a lengthy legal back-and-forth. I continue to hope that this agreement will be finally approved to get us all on this path. We recognize that no amount of money will ever remove the damage done, but this comparison should serve as a reminder of our commitment to the people of Flint, the city and their future, ”said Nessel.

Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

Trump foe Michael Avenatti sentenced in Nike extortion case

Attorney Michael Avenatti arrives at the U.S. courthouse in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City (SDNY) in New York, United States, on July 8, 2021 for his hearing on his conviction in an extortion program against Nike.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Michael Avenatti, the cheeky lawyer who had been a major enemy of the then president Donald TrumpHe was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison for a brazen, botched plan to blackmail the sportswear giant Nike of up to $ 25 million.

That sentence was much less than the nine years, which was the lowest of the sentences proposed by federal guidelines, and nowhere near a “substantial” jail sentence being sought by federal attorneys for the California attorney.

“I alone have ruined my career, my relationships and my life. And there is no doubt that I will have to pay,” said Avenatti, 50, Manhattan Federal Court Justice Paul Gardephe tearfully before he was convicted.

“I am really sorry for all the pain I have inflicted on Mr. Franklin and others,” said Avenatti, referring to his former client, Gary Franklin, an amateur basketball coach.

Avenatti’s conviction came more than three years after he gained widespread fame and disgrace. for his bombastic portrayal of pornstar Stormy Daniels, who received a hush payment of $ 130,000 from Trump’s attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, ahead of the 2016 presidential election in order to keep silent about claims that she had sex with Trump years before he ran for the White House.

Daniels is one of several former Avenatti clients he is charged with on two other separate federal fraud charges, one of which is scheduled to begin in California next week.

Gardephe said Mr Avenatti’s behavior in the Nike program was outrageous.

“He kidnapped his client’s claims and used them to advance his own agenda of extorting millions of dollars from Nike for himself,” said the judge, who also sentenced Avenatti to three years of supervised release in the event that Avenatti was killed Sentenced in court last year.

“He really betrayed his client,” said Gardephe.

Franklin had hired Avenatti to reform Nike, which Franklin had claimed was corrupting amateur players and their families

Avenatti then used this request in early 2019 to not only demand a settlement with Franklin, but also a more lucrative advisory agreement from Nike for him and senior attorney Mark Geragos to avoid a press conference at which he would make Franklin’s allegations.

Avenatti warned Nike’s attorney that the allegations “could reduce your client’s market capitalization by $ 10 billion”.

“I don’t play around with it and I don’t play any more,” Avenatti told Nike lawyers shortly before his arrest.

Attorney Michael Avenatti is leaving the court after being convicted of an extortion program against Nike Inc. on July 8, 2021 at the U.S. Courthouse in New York City.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Gardephe noticed this language during Thursday’s hearing in which he said, “Mr. Avenatti was drunk from the power of his platform or how he perceived the power of his platform.”

But Gardephe added that Avenatti deserved a lighter sentence than the range recommended by federal guidelines – from nine years to 11 years and three months – because the judge said for the first time in the case: “Mr. Avenatti has expressed what I believe to be heavy regrets today. “

The judge also cited the brutal conditions under which Avenatti was held in a federal prison in Manhattan for several months after his arrest in 2019.

And Gardephe, in substantiating the lower-than-recommended verdict, pointed out that federal prosecutors did not prosecute Geragos even though they claimed he was actively involved in the shakedown with Avenatti.

The judge ordered that Avenatti, who remains in custody, must surrender on September 15 to begin his sentence, which Gardephe recommended to serve at the Sheridan, Oregon federal prison camp.

Avenatti’s lawyers had asked for a prison sentence of just six months.

During his statement to Gardephe, Avenatti noted that as a child, while other children dreamed of becoming professional athletes, said, “I dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Of becoming a trial lawyer.”

“About doing good and seeking and achieving justice.”

“I did just that for years, but then I got lost. I gave away my own values, my friends, my family and myself,” he said.

“I gave away my job. I was driven by the things that don’t matter in life. For the past two years, Your Honor, I’ve been thinking why this had to happen,” said Avenatti, who admitted he would never work as a lawyer again.

“I’ve learned that all the fame, the money motorism in the world is meaningless,” said Avenatti.

Avenatti collapsed and took a few moments to calm himself down as he discussed the effects of his behavior on his three children.

He said that most people want their children to be proud of their fathers, but in the case of his own three children, “I want them to be ashamed of him”.

“Because if you’re ashamed, it means your moral compass is exactly what it should be,” he said.

Avenatti will face indictment at his trial next week Crimes that involve defrauding customers for millions of dollars. One of these clients was a mentally ill paraplegic.

Avenatti will face charges of alleged fraud against Daniels in Manhattan federal court next year $ 300,000 in proceeds for a book she wrote.

As in the Nike case, Avenatti pleaded not guilty in the other two cases.

During Thursday’s conviction, U.S. Assistant Attorney Matthew Podolsky told Gardephe that Avenatti had a “profound lack of remorse” for his behavior.

“It’s about taking advantage of people and abusing power and trust,” said Podolsky.

“He saw Mr. Franklin as a way to get rich, to make Mr. Avenatti rich.”

But Avenatti’s attorney Perry pleaded forbearance, saying, “He had an epic fall, he was publicly shamed.”

Perry said that while Avenatti pursued and then achieved a legal career, “really wanted to be the David fighting the Goliath”.

But she remarked, “He’s certainly lost and he knows it.”

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“I can tell you … he’s a completely humble man who got beaten up by himself,” said Perry.

Perry also advocated a shorter term because Avenatti and Geragos were treated differently.

“It is impossible to distinguish between the conduct of Mr. Avenatti … and that of Mark Geragos, whom they did not charge at all,” said lawyer Danya Perry.

“The Nike lawyers, on the other hand, believed Mr Geragos was a full participant and felt as threatened and blackmailed by him as they were by Mr Avenatti.”

The contrast between the tearful Avenatti on Thursday and the sharp-tongued, Twitter-obsessed lawyer he was in 2018 was dramatic.

Avenatti has been beating Trump and Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen for months this year after it was revealed that Cohen paid Daniels the hush money so as not to affect Trump’s chances of winning the White House. Trump denies having sex with Daniels.

After the hush money program was exposed, Avenatti has been an almost constant presence on cable television news attacking Trump and Cohen.

Avenatti’s notoriety and popularity with some of Trump’s opponents grew so high that at one point he flirted with running for the Democratic presidential run in 2020.

But the attorney’s commercial flash came as he staggered under millions in debt, a burden prosecutors alleged had committed the series of serious crimes he was charged with in early 2019.

Cohen, who spent more than a year in jail for crimes that included a campaign funding violation related to the payout of Daniels, said in a Twitter post that he heard Avenatti’s conviction over a phone line issued as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has been set up.

“Despite my disdain for Avenatti for all the lies he said about me, I was glad the 108-135 month guideline was drastically reduced by a measured and logical judge,” Cohen tweeted. “Job well done by @Edanyaperry“He added, using the Twitter handle from Perry, Avenatti’s attorney.

Supreme Courtroom to listen to case on Maine tuition program that bars cash for spiritual schooling

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to a case under a student aid program in. to take over Maine which prohibits the use of state funds for religious schools, another fight before the Supreme Court at the intersection of religious freedom and School choice.

The case, Carson v. Makin, comes from a Maine program that provides classes for Maine residents to attend private high schools when their local district doesn’t have a public school. It comes after a recent Supreme Court case ruling that the government cannot prohibit state aid from attending religious schools in a publicly available program.

The previous case, Espinoza v. Montana, was seen as a great victory for religious freedom advocates. But the Maine program contains another language that, if maintained, could effectively castrate Espinoza.

The state says it cannot discriminate against schools based on their status of being affiliated with religious institutions. But she says she can ban money from going to school if she gives her students a certain religious point of view – which many religious schools do.


The First Circuit Court of Appeals called this portion of Maine’s program a “usage-based” distinction.

Since the Maine program is only for people living in areas without public schools, the appeals court said those seeking “publicly funded ‘biblically integrated’ or religiously ‘intertwined’ education do not have ‘equal access’ to the benefits that Maine makes available to everyone else – namely, the free benefits of a public education. ”

The district court also said Maine applies a different standard to schools that prohibits receiving government funding. While in the Espinoza case Montana banned all schools affiliated with religious institutions from receiving government funding – “status” discrimination – Maine bans schools based on “what the school teaches through its curriculum.”

This is consistent with the logic of the Espinoza case, in which the judges made a distinction between funding schools connected to religious institutions and funding the “training of clergy”. A ban on government funding of clergy education was upheld in 2004 in a 2004 Supreme Court case called Locke v Davey.

“[A]”Although Espinoza forbids Maine to exclude schools because they are religious, Maine can still exclude parents from choosing schools that do religious things,” said the Institute for Justice, the group that represents the families that make Maine -Contest politics in a press release summarizing the arguments of the state.


Kirby Thomas West, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, appeared to be ridiculing Maine’s law in a tweet Friday.

“Big news! @IJ has come back to SCOTUS for another important #schoolchoice case, ”she said. “When SCOTUS said this time in Espinoza that states are not allowed to discriminate against religious schools, it means that states are not allowed to discriminate against religious schools. Good afternoon, team!”

The Maine Department of Education has argued that its situation is quite unique in that many students in Maine would not receive a publicly funded education without its student support program. Therefore, the program is not the same as that of Montana, which should fund alternatives to public education.


“The study program is not a ‘voucher’ program or any other vehicle for choosing a school,” the state said in a nutshell.

“The study program is the result of a specific legal provision that sectarian training is not to be equated with public training,” said the state. “The degree program is not designed as an alternative to the Maine public education system, but rather as part of it.”

The case is expected to be heard in late 2021 or early 2022 and should be decided by the end of June 2022.

Arrests made in Kentucky counterfeit cash case

LOUISA, KY (WOWK) – Four people were arrested earlier this week in connection with a case of counterfeit cash, according to the Louisa Police Department.

Dustin Henry, Brian Wolford, Amy Gnatt and Kenneth Fitch, all of Lawrence County, have been charged with criminal possession of counterfeit instruments, a Class C crime.

UPDATE: KY police warn companies about fake invoices

As of Monday, 13 News reported a case in which several companies complained about counterfeit money across the city of Louisa. Many bills actually said “COPY MONEY,” but companies may still have mistaken the fake $ 20 bills for real cash.

Courtesy: Louisa Police Department

For local and breaking news, weather alerts, videos and more, download the FREE WOWK 13 News app from the. down Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

F.E.C. Drops Case Reviewing Trump Hush-Cash Funds to Ladies

The Federal Election Commission said Thursday that it passed a case investigating whether former President Donald J. Trump had violated the electoral law with a payment of $ 130,000 just before the 2016 election to become a porn actress had officially dropped his attorney at the time. Michael D. Cohen.

The payment was never reported in Mr Trump’s campaign submissions. Mr. Cohen would go on to say that Mr. Trump had instructed him Arrange payments to two women during the 2016 race, and would apologize for his involvement in a hush money scandal. Mr. Cohen was sentenced to prison for violating campaign finance laws, tax evasion and lying by Congress.

“It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light,” said Mr. Cohen in 2018 in court about Mr. Trump.

While Mr. Cohen was in jail, Mr. Trump had no legal ramifications for the payment.

“The hush money was paid on instructions and in favor of Donald J. Trump,” Cohen said in a statement to the New York Times. “Like me, Trump should have been found guilty. How the FEC committee could decide otherwise is confusing. “

In December 2020, the FEC issued a internal report The office said it had “reason to believe” that the Trump campaign was “knowingly and willfully” violating campaign finance law.

However, the electoral commission, which was split evenly between three Republicans and three Democrat-minded commissioners, declined to attend a closed session in February. Two Republican commissioners voted to reject the case, while two Democratic commissioners voted to move forward. There was an absence and a republican rejection.

This decision was announced on Thursday.

Two of the FEC’s Democratic commissioners, Shana Broussard, the current chair, and Ellen Weintraub, declined not to pursue the case after agency staff recommended further investigation.

“To conclude that a payment made 13 days prior to election day to cover up a suddenly newsworthy 10-year story was not campaign related without even conducting an investigation is contrary to reality,” they wrote in a letter.

Republican Commissioners Trey Trainor and Sean Cooksey, who voted not to investigate, said the prosecution of the case was “not the best use of the agency’s resources”, that “the public record is already complete” and that Mr Cohen Have already done so was punished.

“We voted to reject these matters as an exercise of our prosecution discretion,” said Cooksey and Trainor wrote.

A spokesman for Mr Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Cohen case caught public attention in 2018 after the FBI searched his office, apartment and hotel room and picked up boxes of documents, cell phones and computers. Months later, Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign funding violations, among other things.

He said in court that he arranged payments – including $ 130,000 to film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford – “primarily for the purpose of influencing the election.”

The payment was well above the legal limit for individual presidential contributions, which was then $ 2,700.

Mr. Cohen went on to say he arranged a payment of $ 150,000 through American Media Inc. to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate, in early 2016.

Mr Cohen later turned on Mr Trump and wrote his own book about how he acted as a businessman as the ex-president’s enforcer. The book was called “Disloyal: A Memoir”.

Amy Coney Barrett Rebuffs Calls for To Recuse From Darkish Cash Case Involving Group That Supported Her Affirmation

Top line

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett declined to withdraw Monday’s case involving a Conservative group that, despite being Democrats, had spent at least $ 1 million on endorsement of its Senate call her to do so because of the alleged conflict of interest.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in on the South Lawn of the White House … [+] October 26, 2020.

Getty Images

Key factors

The Supreme Court opened on Monday Americans for Prosperity Foundation v Rodriquez, a case brought forward by the conservative Americans for Prosperity Foundation that challenged California’s policy of requiring charities to disclose their donors to the state, which the group allegedly violates the First Amendment.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative advocacy group backed by billionaire David Koch, who is separate from but affiliated with the education-focused foundation, launched a major advertising campaign last year that featured the Senators have been asked to support Barrett’s endorsement said They planned to output “seven-digit numbers”.

Legislators Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), And Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) Had sent Barrett a letter asking them to investigate the case, or at least withdraw the case Publicly state your reasons for doing so and say that hearing the case would conflict with the Supreme Court precedent in the past.

Barrett heard the case on Monday and asked questions to the petitioners and respondents and did not make a public statement regarding their decision.

The judiciary appeared skeptical of California politics, signaling that it would likely be on the side of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation during the hearing, and asked a California state attorney to “assume that I believe these petitioners are have shown considerable strain on politics “imposes their initial adjustment rights.

The Supreme Court has not yet responded to a request for comment on Barrett’s decision not to reuse.

Chief critic

“AFP claims to have played a significant and disproportionate role in the campaign for your confirmation in the Supreme Court while the case of its siblings was pending and imminent,” lawmakers wrote in their letter to Barrett.


In addition to Barrett, AFP has also spent large sums of money to support the endorsements of Judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Whitehouse’s office told Forbes last week that Barrett’s need for reuse was “particularly worrying” as its confirmation came while the AFP case was pending.

What to look for

How the Supreme Court will rule on the case. The conservative court seemed possibly likely to stand on the side of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation on Monday, with many of the judges repeatedly cracking down on attorneys defending California politics and expressing skepticism that the donors disclosed to them will never be made public, the organization feared. “Do you think that for someone who wishes to make a significant contribution to an organization that has been accused of being racist or homophobic or white supremacist, it would be reasonable to be chilled in this environment because they have less or no trust ? that your contribution will be treated confidentially? “Judge Clarence Thomas asked an attorney to defend the policy.

Key background

Legislature opposition to Barrett, who is hearing the case, is part of a wider concern about the influence so-called dark money groups have on the court. Whitehouse described the influence of these conservative activist groups and their judicial spending as “a pretty big deal” during Barrett’s confirmation hearing and according to the Senate of experts testimony, conservative activist Leonard Leo spent more than $ 400 million on his campaign to influence the judiciary between 2014 and 2018 alone. Whitehouse and Johnson quarreled at the same time op-ed for Project Syndicate last week that conservative groups like AFP donate money to set up sympathetic judges and then take cases to court and file coordinated amicus briefs as a “final move in a massive court conquest”. “The AFP / AFPF operation’s” sweeping campaign “for your confirmation makes it clear that our judiciary is a target of this massive apparatus of influence,” lawmakers wrote in their letter to Barrett, explaining why they should withdraw from the case.

further reading

Democratic lawmakers are urging Amy Coney Barrett to step back from the Dark Money Case group that supported her endorsement (Forbes)

The Supreme Court appears to be wary of California’s Donor Disclosure Act (The hill)

Atchison man arrested in counterfeit cash case

ATCHISON, Kan. (WIBW) – According to KAIR Radio, a 28-year-old Atchison man was arrested in connection with a case of counterfeit money.

The arrested man was identified as Robert Lynch, who was taken into custody Saturday, according to Atchison Police Chief Mike Wilson.

KAIR reports that an investigation was opened in late 2020 after counterfeit currencies were handed over in Atchison.

Wilson said the investigation into Lynch’s arrest began after a forged $ 100 bill was used in an Atchison store on Dec. 17.

Wilson said Lynch was taken into custody on an Atchison District Court arrest warrant that charged him with counterfeiting and theft.

Lynch was sent to Atchison County Jail, where he was held for a $ 10,000 bond.

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