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The snapped showed a smiling Trump posing with Limbaugh on the golf course at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., near his Mar-a-Lago club. Another photo captured Trump and Limbaugh posing with professional golfer Lexi Thompson on the green.
On Friday, the White House announced Trump, who is in Florida for the Easter weekend, would be playing golf at his club after some early morning rain had cleared. The White House said Limbaugh “and a couple of friends” would be joining him.
Trump’s golf outing came one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report was released to the public. The report did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, but it did reveal an array of controversial actions by the president that were examined as part of the investigation’s obstruction inquiry. The 448-page report described numerous cases where Trump discouraged witnesses from cooperating with prosecutors and prodded aides to mislead the public on his behalf to hamper the Russia probe he feared would cripple his presidency.
On Thursday, Limbaugh said on his radio program that the investigation was “bogus from the beginning." Limbaugh has criticized the investigation before. During an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier,” the radio host called the Russia investigation “a manufactured coup” against Trump.
On Saturday, Trump lashed out at the investigation.
“Despite the fact that the Mueller Report should not have been authorized in the first place & was written as nastily as possible by 13 (18) Angry Democrats who were Trump haters, including highly conflicted Bob Mueller himself, the end result is No Collusion, No Obstruction!” Trump tweeted.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
FILE PHOTO: Singer Adele arrives at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo
April 20, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – British pop singer Adele and her husband have separated, her representatives said on Saturday.
One of the most successful singer-songwriters of all time, Adele and water charity executive Simon Konecki met in 2011. They had a son a year later, and married in 2016.
“Adele and her partner have separated. They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy. There will be no further comment,” a spokesman for Adele said in a statement.
Adele Adkins, 30, shot to fame in 2008 with her debut album ’19’, lauded for its combination of soulful vocals and confessional lyrics.
Her last album, ’25’, released in 2015, broke U.S. and British records by becoming the fastest-selling album of all time. She became the first person in the history of the Grammy awards to win the top three awards twice.
U.S. media reported in March this year that Adele had visited a recording studio in New York, raising speculation that a new album would surface soon.
(Writing by Andy Bruce, Editing by William Maclean)
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, called on Saturday for Congress to look into the origins of the Russia investigation, which he said started on a "false premise."
Jordan, who serves as ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News' Neil Cavuto that Americans sensed Washington had a double standard that allowed elected officials to avoid punishment for wrongdoing.
"They do want people who launched this investigation, on a false premise, they do want them held accountable," he said on "Cavuto Live."
He pointed to the infamous Steele dossier which informed the FBI's suspicions surrounding President Donald Trump and the Russian government.
"You can't have the FBI using one party's opposition research document to launch an investigation and spy on the other party's campaign," he said.
"We know that took place and we do need to get to the bottom of that because it's never supposed to happen in this country." Jordan was referring to former President Barack Obama's administration surveilling then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 campaign out of its concern over potential ties to Russia.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's report, released on Thursday, stopped short of formally accusing the Trump campaign of colluding with the Russian government. Justice Department leadership also said there wasn't enough evidence to accuse Trump and his associates of either collusion or obstruction of justice.
But Democrats like Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., who serves on the House's investigatory committees, thought the report contained enough troubling information to continue probing the president's conduct. Swalwell, while appearing on Fox News on Friday, said the Obama administration didn't owe the Trump campaign an apology because Mueller's report showed suspcioius behavior and "laid out a multiplicity of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians."
Democratic leadership has signaled the Russia controversy was far from over as Trump declared victory and some speculated the issue could hurt Democrats' chances in the 2020 election. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., has already subpoenaed the unredacted version of Mueller's report and some in his party, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pushed impeachment.
While Democrats go on offense, Republicans like Jordan could leverage that focus to attack Democrats for their involvement with the dossier. Jordan, however, indicated that his party wanted to focus on issues like immigration which a Fox News poll showed as the top concern among registered voters. The Mueller investigation didn't rank among the top five issues in that poll.
Source: Fox News Politics
FILE PHOTO - Asbel Kiprop of Kenya reacts after winning the men's 1500 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, August 30, 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble
April 20, 2019
(Reuters) – Kenya’s former Olympic 1500 meters champion Asbel Kiprop has been handed a four-year ban for doping, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Saturday.
The 29-year-old, who also won three world championship golds, tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in November 2017.
Kiprop had argued his urine sample, which was taken out of competition, could have been tampered with by his testers, who had tipped him off about their visit and taken a payment from him.
But the AIU, an independent body managing all doping-related matters, said they were satisfied that there had been no interference.
“The panel is aware that its order will interrupt, and may even terminate, the athlete’s sporting career and cast a shadow over his impressive competitive record,” it said in a statement.
“But in its opinion the laboratory results viewed in the context of the evidential record and the regulatory framework unit admit of no other conclusion than the case against the athlete is convincingly made out.”
Kiprop was awarded the 1500m gold medal from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing after original winner Rashid Ramzi tested positive for doping. Kiprop won his three world titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Tony Lawrence)
2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Saturday doubled down on her call for the House to open impeachment proceedings against President Trump in the wake of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report -- even as others in her party appear wary of such a push.
“I know people say this is politically charged and we shouldn’t go there, and that there is an election coming up, but there are some things that are bigger than politics,” she told an audience at Keene College, New Hampshire.
“We cannot be an America that says it is OK for a president of the United States to try and block an investigation into a foreign attack on our country or an investigation into that president’s own misbehavior -- so I have called on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings.”
While investigators effectively cleared the president and his associates on the Russia collusion charge central to the probe, it outlined a series of Trump actions that were investigated as part of the obstruction-of-justice inquiry.
Mueller did not reach a determination on that issue, but he provided a series of examples of how Trump tried to limit the probe -- including telling his then-White House Counsel Don McGahn to tell the acting attorney general to remove Mueller.
Democratic leaders have so far focused on demanding access to the full, unredacted report and have also called for Mueller to testify to Congress.
Warren first made her call for impeachment on Friday, when she noted that Mueller said in his report that “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”
"The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty," she tweeted. "That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.
In justifying her call, she said on Saturday that there are “three big toplines [from the Mueller report] that are inescapable.”
“A hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump; Donald Trump welcomed that help; and when the federal government tried to investigate what happened, Donald Trump took multiple steps to try and derail or obstruct the investigations,” she said.
“The fundamental question for us is ‘is there going to be some accountability here?’” she added.
Her call is likely to be welcomed by the left-wing of the party, whose wing in Congress has been open in its hope to impeach the president. Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who said in January that she wanted to “impeach the motherf----r,” has introduced a resolution urging the House Judiciary Committee to probe whether Trump committed impeachment-level offenses. That resolution has been signed onto by fellow left-wing freshman Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
But it is far from clear how much traction such a push will gain. Impeachment proceedings would almost certainly be dead-on-arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate and risk-taking 2020 Democrats away from their policy agendas to focus on impeachment.
Other 2020 Democrats have so far not come out in explicit support of Warren’s call, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has long been skeptical of impeachment proceedings against Trump.
"I’m not for impeachment," Pelosi told The Washington Post in an interview last month. "Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it."
Fox News’ Elina Shirazi, Judson Berger and Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Police officers guard women and children who are relatives of Kosovo Jihadists who returned from Syria, at foreigners detention centre in Pristina, Kosovo, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Laura Hasani
April 20, 2019
By Fatos Bytyci
PRISTINA (Reuters) – Kosovo brought back 110 of its citizens from Syria on Saturday including jihadists who had gone to fight in the country’s civil war and 74 children, the government said.
After the collapse of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, countries around the world are wrestling with how to handle militants and their families seeking to return.
The population of Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, is nominally 90 percent Muslim, but largely secular in outlook.
More than 300 Kosovo citizens have traveled to Syria since 2012 and 70 men who fought alongside militant groups were killed.
“Today in the early hours of the morning an important and sensitive operation was organized in which the government of Kosovo with the help of the United States of America has returned 110 of its citizens from Syria,” Kosovan Justice Minister Abelard Tahiri said at a press conference.
Tahiri did not specify what role the United States had played but a plane with a U.S. flag on its tail was seen in the cargo area of Pristina airport as the operation was ongoing.
When asked about the return of fighters to Kosovo and the separate return of a fighter to Bosnia, U.S. military spokesman Sean Robertson said, “U.S. assets were used in support of this repatriation operation.”
“At no time did the U.S. take custody of the FTF (foreign terrorist fighter) detainees,” Robertson said. He declined to provide further details, citing security reasons.
Authorities said among those who were returned were four fighters, 32 women and 74 children, including nine without a parent.
The four fighters were immediately arrested and the state prosecutor said indictments against them will soon follow.
After several hours at the airport, two busloads of women and children were transported under police escort to an army barracks just outside Pristina.
Police said 30 Kosovan fighters, 49 women and 8 children still remain in the conflict zones.
“We will not stop before bringing every citizen of the Republic of Kosovo back to their country and anyone that has committed any crime or was part of these terrorist organizations will face the justice,” Tahiri said.
“As Kosovo, we cannot allow that our citizens be a threat to the West and to our allies.”
International and local security agencies have previously warned of the risk posed by returning fighters. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law making fighting in foreign conflicts punishable by up to 15 years in jail.
The United States commended Kosovo for the return of its citizens and called other countries to do the same.
“With this repatriation, Kosovo has set an important example for all members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and the international community to follow. We applaud their compassion in accepting the return of this large number of civilians,” the U.S. Embassy in Pristina said in a statement.
There have been no Islamist attacks on Kosovan soil, although more than 100 men have been jailed or indicted on charges of fighting in Syria and Iraq. Some of them were found guilty of planning attacks in Kosovo.
Prosecutors said they were investigating 156 other suspects.
The government has said a form of radical Islam had been imported to Kosovo by non-governmental organizations from the Middle East after the end of its 1998-99 war of secession from Serbia.
(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci, additional reporting by Yeganeh Torbati in Washington; Editing by Toby Chopra and Cynthia Osterman)
Tennis - Fed Cup - World Group Semi-Final - France v Romania - Kindarena, Rouen, France - April 20, 2019 France's Caroline Garcia celebrates winning her match against Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu REUTERS/Charles Platiau
April 20, 2019
ROUEN, France (Reuters) – Caroline Garcia kept her composure to beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-3 and bring France level at 1-1 with Romania in their Fed Cup semi-final after Simona Halep outclassed Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-1 in the opening singles on Saturday.
Garcia produced a rock-solid performance to dismantle the challenge of Buzarnescu in one hour, 27 minutes on the clay surface in the Normandy city of Rouen as two-time champions France bid for their sixth final.
France captain Julien Benneteau opted for Mladenovic ahead of higher-ranked Pauline Parmentier and Alize Cornet for the opening clash against world number two Halep.
World number 66 Mladenovic, however, struggled with her serve and failed to cope with Halep’s more varied attacking style, racking up 35 unforced errors.
“It was really difficult to start the match because of the emotions,” reigning Roland Garros champion Halep said. “It was really tough to start the game, to start the tie.”
The Romanians, aiming for their maiden Fed Cup final after upsetting defending champions Czech Republic in an epic quarter-final in Ostrava, won their only previous Fed Cup tie against France in 1976.
“I’m really happy with the way I played in the second set,” Halep added. “It was much better. It’s difficult to play against Kristina because she cuts the rhythm and I couldn’t find my rhythm.
“In the end, I felt much better, and I can say I was dominating.”
After Sunday’s reverse singles, Garcia and Mladenovic are expected to team up to face Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu in the doubles. The other semi-final pits Australia against Belarus, who are also level at 1-1 after their opening singles matches.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Tony Lawrence)
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Gavin Clarkson, a former Trump Administration official and former candidate for Congress, has announced he will run for an open U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico.
Clarkson said Tuesday he will seek the Republican nomination in 2020 for Senate and will make immigration and “free speech on public campuses” his center issues.
He made his announcement in an interview with the conservative-leaning blog, NM Politics with John Block . Clarkson is the first Republican to say he will run for the state’s open Senate spot.
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján — the No. 4 ranked Democrat in Congress — said earlier this month he would seek the Democratic nomination. Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver says she’s also considering running.
Source: NewsMax Politics
FILE PHOTO: Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak attends a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo
April 16, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Monday he held very productive meetings in Washington with international financial institutions, following the unveiling last week of Turkey’s economic turnaround plan.
Albayrak said in a speech to American and Turkish business leaders that he also held a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that covered many topics and held “fruitful” talks at the White House.
He said the United States and Turkey need to strengthen their partnership despite policy differences.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
FILE PHOTO: A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
April 16, 2019
By Manas Mishra and Saumya Joseph
(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday reported a first-quarter profit that exceeded Wall Street expectations on higher sales of its prescription medicines, including a double-digit increase for its psoriasis treatment Stelara, even as the company faces fierce competition for some of its other important drugs.
The U.S. healthcare conglomerate said growth in its pharmaceuticals business was driven by volume rather than price hikes, and its shares rose more than 2 percent to $139.49.
Sales of Stelara, which also treats Crohn’s disease, jumped about 32 percent to $1.41 billion, fueling a 4 percent rise for the pharmaceutical business, which accounts for more than half of the company’s total revenue. Double-digit increases for cancer drugs Darzalex and Imbruvica also contributed to the earnings beat.
“We’re really seeing the strength in pharma sales drive top and bottom line growth,” said John Ham, associate advisor at New England Investment and Retirement Group, which owns J&J shares. “We think growth in pharma sales not only in Asia but also in the United States will be a driver for the company going forward.”
Excluding items, the company earned $2.10 per share, beating analysts’ average estimates by 7 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
J&J also tightened its full-year forecast for adjusted earnings to $8.53 to $8.63 per share from its prior range of $8.50 to $8.65.
The company on a conference call said 800 sites have already been certified to treat patients with its new nasal spray depression treatment Spravato, which won U.S. approval last month.
“We believe that we’re off to a very, very strong start with Spravato and that is going to be an important growth driver for us,” said Jennifer Taubert, head of J&J’s pharma unit.
Sales of prostate cancer drug Zytiga, which is now facing competition from cheaper generic versions as well as from branded rival Xtandi from Pfizer Inc and Astellas Pharma, fell 19.6 percent.
But the company said it now sees the overall sales decline it expects due to competition from generics and biosimilars in 2019 coming in at the lower end of its prior $3 billion to $3.5 billion forecast.
Overall sales increased slightly to $20.02 billion, topping analyst estimates of $19.61 billion.
Sales from the medical device business fell 4.6 percent to $6.46 billion, edging past Wall Street estimates of $6.44 billion. Consumer health sales declined 2.4 percent to $3.32 billion.
Net profit for the quarter fell 14.2 percent to $3.75 billion as the company recorded $423 million in litigation expenses.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Bill Berkrot)
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called the pushback to Attorney General William Barr’s actions surrounding the Russia report “bizarre,” saying in a new interview that Barr is doing all he can to follow the law and make as much of the report public as possible.
“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre,” Rosenstein told The Wall Street Journal.
“It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, ‘I’m not going to give you the report.’ What he said is, ‘Look, it’s going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what’s in it. I’m going to give you the top-line conclusions.’ That’s all he was trying to do.”
Rosenstein was referring to Barr’s four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller concluded that neither President Donald Trump nor his campaign conspired with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. He could not say whether or not Trump obstructed justice, however, but Barr wrote in his summary he and Rosenstein decided there was not sufficient evidence to pursue an obstruction charge.
Democrats are demanding to see Mueller’s full report, but Barr said it must be redacted to conceal classified and privileged information.
Rosenstein told the Journal the American public should have “tremendous confidence” in Barr’s efforts on the report.
Source: NewsMax America
U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to board Marine One en route to his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida following the release of the Mueller report at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
April 19, 2019
By Chris Kahn
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The number of Americans who approve of President Donald Trump dropped by 3 percentage points to the lowest level of the year following the release of a special counsel report detailing Russian interference in the last U.S. presidential election, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll.
The poll, conducted Thursday afternoon to Friday morning, is the first national survey to measure the response from the American public after the U.S. Justice Department released Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report that recounted numerous occasions in which Trump may have interfered with the investigation.
According to the poll, 37 percent of adults in the United States approved of Trump’s performance in office, down from 40 percent in a similar poll conducted on April 15 and matching the lowest level of the year. That is also down from 43 percent in a poll conducted shortly after U.S. Attorney General William Barr circulated a summary of the report in March.
In his report, Mueller said his investigation did not establish that the Trump campaign had coordinated with Russians. However, investigators did find “multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations.”
While Mueller ultimately decided not to charge Trump with a crime, he also said that the investigation did not exonerate the president, either.
The poll found that 50 percent of Americans agreed that “Trump or someone from his campaign worked with Russia to influence the 2016 election,” and 58 percent agreed that the president “tried to stop investigations into Russian influence on his administration.”
Forty percent said they thought Trump should be impeached, while 42 percent said he should not.
The poll responses were sharply split along party lines, with Democrats much more critical of Trump than his fellow Republicans.
The Mueller investigation had previously charged 34 other people and three Russian entities, netting convictions or guilty pleas from several Trump associates including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen.
So far, the report does not appear to have convinced many to change their opinions about the president’s conduct during a bitter presidential campaign, whether his inner circle improperly engaged with Russian agents, or if he tried to interfere with federal investigators afterward.
Among those respondents who said they were familiar with the Mueller report, 70 percent said the report had not changed their view of Trump or Russia’s involvement in the U.S. presidential race. Only 15 percent said they had learned something that changed their view of Trump or the Russia investigation, and a majority of those respondents said they were now more likely to believe that “Trump or someone close to him broke the law.”
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,005 adults, including 924 who were familiar with the Mueller report. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points.
To see the entire Reuters/Ipsos poll, click here: https://tmsnrt.rs/2DjEq3R
(Reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Andrea Ricci)