- Appeals court reinstates gag order that barred Trump from maligning court staff in NY fraud trialon November 30, 2023 at 4:24 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York appeals court Thursday reinstated a gag order that barred Donald Trump from commenting about court personnel after he disparaged a law clerk in his New York civil fraud trial. The one-sentence decision from a four-judge panel came two weeks after an individual appellate judge had put the order on hold while the appeals process played out. Trial judge Arthur Engoron, who imposed the gag order, said he now planned to enforce it “rigorously and vigorously.” Trump attorney Christopher Kise called it “a tragic day for the rule of law.” Engoron imposed the initial gag order Oct. 3 after Trump posted a derogatory comment about the judge’s law clerk to social media. The post, which included a baseless allegation about the clerk’s personal life, came the second day of the trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit. James alleges Trump exaggerated his wealth on financial statements used to secure loans and make deals. Trump denies any wrongdoing. The former president, now the front-runner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, contends the lawsuit is a political attack by James, a Democrat. Engoron later fined Trump $15,000 for violating the gag order and expanded it to include his lawyers after they questioned clerk Allison Greenfield’s prominent role on the bench, where she sits alongside the judge, exchanging notes and advising him during testimony. Trump’s lawyers filed a lawsuit against Engoron that challenged his gag order as an abuse of power. State lawyers had sought to tie Trump’s comments to an uptick in nasty calls and messages directed at the judge and law clerk. A court security captain wrote in a sworn statement last week that Greenfield has been receiving 20-30 calls per day to her personal cell phone and 30-50 messages per day on social media, LinkedIn and to two personal email addresses. Since the gag order was lifted, the captain said, about half of the harassing and disparaging messages Greenfield received were antisemitic. The captain reported that the hundreds of harassing voicemails she received were the equivalent of a transcript with 275 single-spaced pages. Trump had posted about Greenfield as recently as Wednesday, referring to the judge’s “very disturbed and angry law clerk.” ___ Associated Press writer Michael R. Sisak contributed. Brought to you by www.srnnews.com
- Anthony Fauci will testify before Congress on COVID origins and the US pandemic responseon November 30, 2023 at 4:22 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Anthony Fauci, former chief White House medical adviser, is expected to testify before Congress early next year as part of Republicans’ yearslong investigation into the origins of COVID-19 and the U.S. response to the disease. Fauci, who served as the nation’s top infectious disease expert before retiring last year, will sit for transcribed interviews in early January and a public hearing at a later date. It will be his first appearance before the Republican-controlled House. The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic first requested a sit-down with Fauci in February, but an agreement over the timing and details of the interviews was just reached with Fauci’s attorneys earlier this month, according to a letter sent Thursday from the committee. “It is time for Dr. Fauci to confront the facts and address the numerous controversies that have arisen during and after the pandemic,” Rep. Brad Wenstrup, the GOP chairman of the committee, said in a statement. House Republicans have investigated whether Fauci or other U.S. government officials took part in any sort of cover-up about the origin of the deadly virus. Fauci, who served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, has repeatedly called the GOP criticism nonsense. Wenstrup, who is also a longtime member of the House Intelligence Committee, has accused Fauci and U.S. intelligence of withholding key facts about its investigation into the coronavirus. Republicans on the committee last year issued a staff report arguing that there are “indications” that the virus may have been developed as a bioweapon inside China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. That would contradict a U.S. intelligence community assessment released in unclassified form in August 2021 that said analysts do not believe the virus was a bioweapon, though it may have leaked in a lab accident. Many scientists, including Fauci, who until December served as Biden’s chief medical adviser, say they still believe the virus most likely emerged in nature and jumped from animals to humans, a well-documented phenomenon known as a spillover event. Virus researchers have not publicly identified any key new scientific evidence that might make the lab-leak hypothesis more likely. But Republicans have accused Fauci of lying to Congress when he denied in May 2022 that the National Institutes of Health funded “gain of function” research — the practice of enhancing a virus in a lab to study its potential impact in the real world — at a virology lab in Wuhan. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, even urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Fauci’s statements. ___ Associated Press writers Amanda Seitz and Nomaan Merchant contributed to his report. Brought to you by www.srnnews.com
- Cristiano Ronaldo faces $1B class-action lawsuit after promoting for Binance NFTson November 30, 2023 at 4:20 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has been hit with class-action lawsuit seeking at least $1 billion in damages for his role in promoting cryptocurrency-related “non-fungible tokens,” or NFTs, issued by the beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange Binance. The lawsuit filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida Monday alleges that Ronaldo’s promotion of Binance was “deceptive and unlawful.” Binance’s partnership with high-profile figures like Ronaldo, the plaintiffs claim, led them into costly and unsafe investments. “Evidence now reveals that Binance’s fraud was only able to reach such heights through the offer and sale of unregistered securities, with the willing help and assistance of some of the wealthiest, powerful and recognized organizations and celebrities across the globe—just like Defendant Ronaldo,” the suit reads. Representatives for Ronaldo declined to comment Thursday. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, did not immediately return requests for statement from The Associated Press. Ronaldo launched his inaugural NFT “CR7” collection with Binance in November of last year, ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The NFTs — which had starting prices ranging from the equivalent of about $77 to $10,000 — featured seven animated statues depicting Ronaldo from iconic moments in his life, from bicycle-kick goals to his childhood in Portugal. Monday’s suit says that the promotional efforts of Ronaldo’s Binance partnership were “incredibly successful” — alleging a 500% increase in online searches using the keyword “Binance” after the soccer star’s NFTs was announced. The collection’s premium-level NFTs sold out within the first week, the suit claims. Ronaldo has since continued to promote Binance on his official website and social media platforms. Most recently, on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) Ronaldo reposted a Binance video and wrote that he was “Cooking something up” with the crypto exchange on Tuesday. NFTs are ordinary digital images with an attached version number that have been added to a cryptocurrency blockchain, a process designed to make them “unique” collectibles. NFTs enjoyed a brief boom, but have since largely collapsed in value as the crypto industry has been marred by scandals and market meltdowns. Over the summer, Binance was accused of operating as an unregistered securities exchange and violating a slew of U.S. securities laws in a lawsuit from regulators. The crypto exchange agreed last week to pay a roughly $4 billion settlement and its founder Changpeng Zhao stepped down as CEO and pleaded guilty to a felony related to his failure to prevent money laundering on the platform. This week’s lawsuit against Ronaldo isn’t the first time that a celebrity has faced litigation over crypto promotions. Last year, a host of Hollywood and sports stars — including Larry David and Tom Brady — were named as defendants in a class-action suit against FTX, which was the second-largest crypto exchange before it collapsed in November 2022. The suit argued that the celebrities’ status made them culpable for promoting FTX’s failed business model. Ronaldo is one of the most recognizable and wealthiest athletes in the world. He leads his home country Portugal’s national team and has played for the Spanish team Real Madrid, the Italian club Juventus and Manchester United in England. He now plays for the Saudi Arabian professional team Al Nassr. Brought to you by www.srnnews.com
- Blinken urges Israel to comply with international law in war against Hamas as truce is extendedon November 30, 2023 at 4:18 pm
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday stepped up calls for Israel to comply with international law as it wages its war against Hamas in Gaza. On his third trip to the Middle East since the war began on Oct. 7, Blinken said the U.S. remains committed to supporting Israel’s right to self defense. But he also said it is imperative that Israel protect civilians if it starts major military operations in southern Gaza. His message aligns with the Biden administration’s shifting rhetoric on the war, which began as a full-throated embrace of Israel’s response to the Hamas attacks but gradually tempered as the number of Palestinian civilian casualties began to rise dramatically. The death toll and scale of destruction has prompted widespread international criticism, including from members of President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party. Meeting in Jerusalem just hours after Israel and Hamas agreed at the last minute to a third extension of a cease-fire agreement under which Israel has paused most military activity in return for the release of hostages held by Hamas, Blinken assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he could count on U.S. support. But he added that such support requires Israel’s “compliance with international humanitarian law,” and he “urged Israel to take every possible measure to avoid civilian harm,” the State Department said. To prevent a further major increase in civilian casualties, Blinken “stressed the imperative of accounting for humanitarian and civilian protection needs in southern Gaza before any military operations there,” the department said. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have sought shelter in southern Gaza after fleeing their homes in the northern part of the territory due to the conflict, and U.S. officials have been warning Israel that any offensive in southern Gaza must take into account the safety of the civilian population there. In addition, Blinken “urged immediate steps to hold settler extremists accountable for violence against Palestinians in the West Bank” and said the U.S. places great importance on the resumption of a peace process that would eventually lead to the creation of a Palestinian state Israeli officials have pledged to the U.S. on multiple occasions that Israeli settler violence will be punished, but the Palestinians have complained of inaction on that front. And, Netanyahu is opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state, having told Israelis that he is the only political leader who can prevent it. Netanyahu’s office released a statement about the meeting with Blinken that contained no mention of settler violence or a two-state solution. Instead, in a recorded message, Netanyahu noted that his talks with Blinken had taken place shortly after a Hamas-claimed attack in which two Palestinian gunmen opened fire on commuters at the entrance to Jerusalem, killing at least three people. Netanyahu said he told Blinken, “This is the same Hamas that carried out the terrible massacre on Oct. 7, the same Hamas that tries to murder us everywhere. I told him: We swore, and I swore, to eliminate Hamas. Nothing will stop us.” “We will continue this war until we achieve the three goals — to release all our abductees, to eliminate Hamas completely and to ensure that Gaza will never again face such a threat,” Netanyahu said. Blinken met with Netanyahu and his war Cabinet in Jerusalem before traveling to the occupied West Bank for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In his meeting with Abbas, Blinken focused on efforts to increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza and condemned Jewish settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank. Blinken told Abbas “he would continue to insist on full accountability for those responsible,” the State Department said. Blinken also told Abbas that “the United States remains committed to advancing tangible steps for a Palestinian state,” it said. The top U.S. diplomat will close out his latest Mideast tour in the United Arab Emirates on Friday, where he will discuss the Gaza situation with Arab leaders gathered in Dubai for the COP28 climate change conference. Brought to you by www.srnnews.com
- Vehicle wanted in Chicago homicide crashes into Milwaukee school bus during police pursuiton November 30, 2023 at 3:18 pm
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A vehicle wanted in connection with a homicide in Chicago crashed into a school bus during a police chase in Milwaukee on Wednesday, sending multiple people to area hospitals. Police in Milwaukee said in a statement that they began chasing the vehicle shortly before noon. The vehicle collided with the school bus, which flipped and crashed into several other vehicles. The driver of the suspect vehicle, a 26-year-old man, fled but was captured after a brief foot chase, police said. The statement did not offer any further details about the suspect or the homicide. Two passengers in the suspect vehicle, one a 26-year-old and the other a 3-year-old, were hurt. The 26-year-old suffered what police called “non-fatal” injuries and the 3-year-old suffered serious injuries. They were both taken to a hospital for treatment. The 71-year-old school bus driver and the 30-year-old driver of another vehicle were taken to hospitals with injuries. No other injuries were reported. Police said the bus driver was the only person on the bus. Brought to you by www.srnnews.com
- Taylor Swift’s ‘You’re Losing Me’: Jack Antonoff Seemingly Reveals Joe Alwyn Breakup Timelineon November 30, 2023 at 9:27 pm
Fans believe Taylor Swift’s co-producer on her breakup ballad, ‘You’re Losing Me,’ exposed the timeline of her split from Joe Alywn.
- Awards Season Guide 2023-24: Every Date You Need for the Oscars, Golden Globes and Moreby ETonline Staff on November 30, 2023 at 6:00 pm
ET has put together a guide for all the major film, TV and music awards being handed out in 2023 and 2024.
- Sabrina Carpenter Reacts to Criticism After Filming ‘Feather’ Music Video Inside a Catholic Churchby Tionah Lee on November 30, 2023 at 5:39 pm
The pop star’s latest music video sparked controversy among a Catholic parish in Brooklyn.
- What Fans Think Jack Antonoff May Have Revealed About Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn’s Relationship Timelineby Sophie Schillaci on November 30, 2023 at 5:22 pm
The producer shared a candid throwback image that sent Swifties spiraling on social media.
- Jessica Simpson Opens Up About Her Sobriety, Being Mistaken for Britney Spears and Her Icon Era (Exclusive)by Sophie Schillaci on November 30, 2023 at 2:29 pm
Jessica Simpson is being honored for her contributions to the world of footwear fashion.