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Judge issues gag order in Roger Stone case

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By Tom Winter

A federal judge issued a gag order in the Roger Stone case Friday, saying attorneys and witnesses for the former Trump campaign adviser and prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller may not speak publicly about Stone’s prosecution for lying, witness tampering and obstruction.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson also put an end to Stone’s courthouse press conferences. The judge ordered that “all interested participants in the matter … must refrain, when they are entering or exiting the courthouse, or they are within the immediate vicinity of the courthouse, from making statements to the media or to the public that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case or are intended to influence any juror, potential juror, judge, witness or court officer or interfere with the administration of justice.”

Stone was arrested by FBI agents on Jan. 25 during a pre-dawn raid of his Florida home. He has been indicted on seven counts arising from Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, including five counts of making false statements, one count of obstruction and one count of witness tampering.

Prosecutors say Stone, a long-time Trump associate who worked for Trump’s nascent campaign in 2015, provided the campaign with information about potential releases of hacked emails by WikiLeaks in 2016.



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Puerto Rican officials warn against diverting recovery funds for a wall

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By Patricia Guadalupe

WASHINGTON — María Meléndez, the mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico’s second-largest city, came to Washington this week on a mission to ensure that federal aid already allocated for hurricane recovery is finally delivered to her city and others on the island.

Meléndez’s visit to talk about local governance during natural disasters and crisis management came a day before Trump declared a national emergency to secure funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall that he dangled as a presidential campaign promise.

After multiple reports surfaced saying that funds allocated for recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria could be used to finance the wall, Trump’s action has heightened concerns among Puerto Rican officials who have vowed to fight such a move.

“If the president intends to use his emergency powers to take funds from Puerto Rico and other states, I’ll see him in court,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said on Twitter early Friday morning. “Our island urgently needs the disbursement of the money allocated to direct and reconstruction.”

Hours later, a senior administration official said that taking any disaster relief funds away from Puerto Rico and Texas was not part of the plan, adding that the $8 billion they currently plan to use for the wall should be sufficient.

While much attention has been paid to the capital city of San Juan and its recuperation efforts, other island cities and towns have been often overlooked and have the added burden of lacking the resources and personnel to help in a recovery.

More than 400 buildings in Ponce were damaged during Hurricane Maria in 2017, damage is estimated at more than $500 million, and the cost of reconstruction is estimated to be at least $200 million.

“We are used to hurricanes, but nothing like what happened with Hurricane Maria. It was total devastation and we still need to reconstruct the island. It is a long recovery. We need those funds,” Meléndez, known as Mayita, told NBC News after participating in a forum Thursday at New York University’s Washington Center.



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Brexit warning: No-deal vegetable tariffs could cause 12,400 EXTRA deaths – shock study

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A STUDY has claimed 12,400 people could die as a result of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal.

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