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Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation: Who are the key players?

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election and whether President Donald Trump unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe.  Mueller delivered his final report to US Attorney General William Barr on Friday.  Trump has repeatedly denied collusion and obstruction, calling the investigation a “witch-hunt”. Russia has denied…

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Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation: Who are the key players?

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election and whether President Donald Trump unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. 

Mueller delivered his final report to US Attorney General William Barr on Friday. 

Trump has repeatedly denied collusion and obstruction, calling the investigation a “witch-hunt”. Russia has denied interfering in the election.

Over the 21-month investigation, Mueller has brought charges against 34 people, including six aides and advisers to the president, and three companies. 

Here are the key players in the probe: 

Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman of Trump’s campaign has been convicted in Washington and Virginia of crimes related to years of Ukrainian political consulting work, including allegations he concealed his foreign government work from the United States and failed to pay taxes on it. 

Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign manager Paul Manafort looks on during Trump’s walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland [File: Rick Wilking/File Photo/Reuters]

Though the charges don’t directly touch Trump, Manafort has nonetheless remained a figure of considerable intrigue and enjoys the continued sympathy of the president, who has left open the door for a pardon.

He is now serving a more than seven-year prison sentence.

Michael Flynn

Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI just days after Trump took office by telling agents that he had never discussed sanctions with the-then Russian ambassador to the United States.

The White House said Flynn had misled administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about the conversation and ousted him weeks later. He has since become a vital cooperator for Mueller, having met 19 times with investigators. Prosecutors aren’t recommending any prison time when he’s sentenced next week.

Michael Cohen

Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, is at the centre of not only Mueller’s investigation but also a separate, and rapidly mushrooming, investigation into hush-money payments. 

Michael Cohen is sworn in to testify at a hearing on Capitol Hill [File: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters] 

In Mueller’s investigation, Cohen has admitted lying to Congress about a proposed real estate development in Moscow. He told politicians the negotiations were done in January 2016 when in fact they stretched deep into the campaign. He also pleaded guilty in New York to campaign finance violations stemming from the payments, with prosecutors saying last week that he “acted in coordination and at the direction of Individual 1” – or Trump.

George Papadopoulos

George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser served a 14-day prison sentence after admitting lying to the FBI about a 2016 conversation with a Maltese professor who told him that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of stolen emails. Information about Papadopoulos’s contacts during the campaign started the FBI’s Russia investigation.

Russian intelligence

Twelve Russian military intelligence officers were charged in July with hacking into email accounts of Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party and then facilitating the release of tens of thousands of private communications.

It remains perhaps the most direct example of what intelligence officials say was a broad conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf.

Russian online trolls

A separate indictment charges 13 Russians with funding a covert social media propaganda campaign to sow discord among Americans in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors say the scheme was run by a Russia-based troll farm that used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to try to influence the race.

Roger Stone

A longtime Trump confidant, and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” of Republican politics, Roger Stone is charged with witness tampering and lying to Congress about his efforts to gain advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release damaging information on Clinton during 2016. 

Roger Stone arrives for his arraignment at US District Court in Washington, US [File: Leah Millis/Reuters] 

Though a Stone tweet from 2016 – “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel” – appeared to presage the disclosure of hacked emails, Stone has said he had no inside knowledge about the content, source or timing of WikiLeaks’ disclosure.

He has also pleaded not guilty to the federal charges brought by Mueller.

Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who has been under Justice Department scrutiny for years for the group’s role in publishing government secrets, has been an important figure in the Mueller probe as investigators examine how WikiLeaks obtained emails stolen from Clinton’s campaign and Democratic groups.

Prosecutors have also investigated whether any Americans were involved in coordinating that effort.

Separately, prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia inadvertently disclosed the existence of a sealed criminal complaint against the WikiLeaks founder, though no details have been publicly announced.

Donald Trump Jr

The president’s eldest son has attracted scrutiny for his role in arranging a Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 – also attended by Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner – at which he expected to receive damaging information on Clinton. He has said the meeting was a waste of time because he didn’t receive anything interesting from the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Both he and his father have suggested that anyone in that position would have taken such a meeting in hopes of getting dirt on a political opponent.

The meeting has been of interest to investigators, who have called multiple participants before the grand jury.

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Euro 2020: Christian Eriksen collapses in Denmark v Finland match

DEVELOPING STORYDanish attacking midfielder receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.Denmark’s attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has collapsed on the pitch of Parken Stadium during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland. The 29-year-old was seen receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Copenhagen. Eriksen fell to the ground near the sideline…

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Euro 2020: Christian Eriksen collapses in Denmark v Finland match

DEVELOPING STORYDanish attacking midfielder receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.Denmark’s attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has collapsed on the pitch of Parken Stadium during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland.
The 29-year-old was seen receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Saturday’s match in Copenhagen.
Eriksen fell to the ground near the sideline late in the first half and was immediately surrounded by medical staff. His distraught teammates formed a ring around him as medics pumped his chest.
The Group B clash was suspended.
More to follow.

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UAE: Who will own your cryptocurrency after you die?

Experts reveal everything you need to know about passing down and inheriting digital assets. In the last two years, the global user base for crytpocurrencies has increased by nearly 190 per cent in terms of traded volumes. A survey by Statista of consumers across 55 countries ranks consumers in the UAE 19th most likely to…

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UAE: Who will own your cryptocurrency after you die?

Experts reveal everything you need to know about passing down and inheriting digital assets.

In the last two years, the global user base for crytpocurrencies has increased by nearly 190 per cent in terms of traded volumes. A survey by Statista of consumers across 55 countries ranks consumers in the UAE 19th most likely to be an owner of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, in 2020.
But unlike ‘fiat currency’ such as the dollar or the dirham, which can be easily passed on, exchanged, or used for transactions, we are yet to gin an understanding of what will happen to digital currency their owner dies. We know of instances where assets have been lost forever- in 2019, a crypto exchange lost $145 million after its CEO suddenly died and no one had access to the password of the digital wallet.
Safekeeping of passwords is important and equally important is letting your loved ones know about them. “It’s a question that has been bothering me for some time. I have investments worth $100,000 in various crytocurrencies. I have bought these through a broker and not directly from the exchange, which allows me to nominate a beneficiary. So, I am guessing if my wife wants to have access to it when I am gone, she should be able to. But I am not sure of the procedure. I am yet to safekeep my cryptocurrencies in a digital wallet; they are just lying in my account for now, which I know can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. I plan to explore more and make my cryptos more safe and secure and also let my better half know,” says Bawa K., who has been investing in digital currency since 2017.
How are cryptos bought?
Cryptocurrencies can be bought ‘peer to peer’ from people, directly from organisations ‘over the counter’ who offer their own tokens for sale, or from public exchanges such as Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance, Bithumb, Huobi, etc.
“These are the channels for most of the people to get and sell cryptocurrencies. And there are many other ways to get digital assets, for example, C2C(customer to customer) transferring, which are usually not used much,” says Ola Lind, Director, SoBitX.
How are they stored?
The cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology and stored in a so-called wallet. Each wallet corresponds to a pair of keys, a public key and a private key. The public key is used as an address to receive coins and the private key is used to identify the owner.
“Each owner should keep the private key safe. Anyone with this private key can access the assets in this wallet,” says Lind.
“In terms of storage, cryptocurrencies are stored in digital wallets. An individual has a range of choices in that regard, which include holding their digital assets in wallets on exchange, in software wallets such as metamask, or in hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger. In all cases, the individual must make their own judgment in terms of security and accessibility,” says Blaise Carroz, Vice President, Global Acquisition, Idoneus.
UAE law on digital currencies and wills
“While legally, the answer is yes, dependents can seek to claim digital assets, similar to any other type of asset, if your passwords, passphrases, and key locations die with you that probably won’t happen. Without those things your crypto assets will be inaccessible,” says Carroz, when asked if families could inherit their loved ones’ cryptocurrencies after they died.
Under the UAE Federal laws, the status of crypto is currently not sufficiently clear to be certain about adding crypto to one’s will. “However, a UAE resident can use a DIFC Will so that it covers all his worldwide assets, include crypto assets. This is possible since DIFC applies the laws of England and Wales, which recognises crypto assets as property. DIFC Wills also have a provision for including a ‘sealed’ document so that potentially one may leave a private key for the beneficiary to receive and use to retrieve the crypto,” advises Carroz.
“As with all things of this nature it is best to consult a professional law firm for advice for drafting wills with crypto elements due to the complexities involved,” adds Carroz.
When including digitally held assets in an estate planning instrument, Century Maxim recommends the following to be outlined in an estate planning instrument:
a. A clear list of the digitally held assets
b. Information of the digital wallet(s)
c. A memorandum of including the passwords and PINs
d. A step-by-step guide explaining how the beneficiaries can access those assets upon the execution of the estate planning instrument
“Without access to the identifiers to access the exchange or wallet, it would be near impossible to access the assets irrespective if it is briefly mentioned under an estate planning instrument. In such a case, it is more likely than not that the digitally held assets are under a highly secure and encrypted network — a feature for which investors of currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or recently the Dogecoin opt for because it is so difficult to intercept,” says Farhat Ali Khan, Managing Partner, Century Maxim International, a legal consultancy firm licensed based in Abu Dhabi.

Suneeti Ahuja Kohli
Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli has been in Dubai long enough to call it her spiritual home. She loves to travel but plans to settle down in Koi Samui, Thailand eventually to spend her sunset years by the sea. For now, she writes frequently on personal finance, retirement planning, business news and features, health and almost anything assigned by her editor. Her sojourns can be followed on instagram (suneetiahujakohli), news and views on Twitter @suneetiahuja, and for the rest, there’s a Facebook account.

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Pakistan Budget 2021-22: Imran Khan chairs cabinet meeting

The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet on Friday. The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22. Budget to improve living standard of working class, labourers:…

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Pakistan Budget 2021-22: Imran Khan chairs cabinet meeting

The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet on Friday.
The meeting is being held to give approval to the budget proposals for fiscal year 2021-22.
Budget to improve living standard of working class, labourers: Farrukh Habib
The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said that the government was presenting an excellent, balanced and people-friendly budget for financial year 2021-22. In budget 2021-22, maximum funds will be allocated for the welfare projects for the poor segments of society, labour and working class, he said while talking to a private news channel.
Farrukh Habib said that the budget would be austerity-oriented and public-friendly and efforts would be made to put minimum burden on the common man. The resources generated through financial discipline, transparency and good governance were also being spent on the welfare of the people, he added.
The minister said besides big cities, balanced development of villages is also being ensured so that all facilities should be available to the youth and farmers living in rural areas. He said underprivileged segments of the society were most affected by Covid-19 difficulties and the government would not put any further burden of direct taxes and would facilitate the common man.
He said PTI is pro-labour party and Prime Minister Imran Khan has always been supportive for the rights of the workers, adding that the pays for labours including painters, unskilled labour, plumber, electricians was increased.
The minister said with the prudent policies of the government, over 13 per cent export has increased, adding the per capita income was also increased which is another historic achievement of the present government.
He said the country has better days ahead where common man will get full benefit from the prudent policies of the present government.
He mentioned that to make major changes in the Kamyab Jawan Programme (KJP), planning to increase the loan facility for youth, which would prove as an engine for jobs creation, poverty alleviation and economic growth in the country.
He said like KPK province, the Health Card project would be further expanded to other provinces of the country to facilitate working and poor class. He said the present government was constructing dams to provide 10 thousand megawatts electricity at cheap rate. Habib also assured that the government would control the inflation and common man would get relief on priority.
Pakistan heading towards economic stability: Fawad
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that Pakistan was heading towards economic stability after a long time.
In a tweet, he said all economic indicators were positive and such political and economic stability was only possible due to confidence of people and institutions in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) June 11, 2021
He urged the opposition to cooperate with the government on electoral and judicial reforms.

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