Washington, Nov 27 (AP/UNB) — The special counsel in the Russia investigation is accusing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of violating his plea agreement by repeatedly lying to federal investigators, an extraordinary allegation that could expose him to a lengthier prison sentence — and potentially more criminal charges.
The torpedoing of Manafort's plea deal, disclosed in a court filing Monday, also results in special counsel Robert Mueller's team losing a cooperating witness from the top of Donald Trump's presidential campaign who was present for several key episodes under investigation. That includes a Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer he was told had derogatory information on Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The move signals a return to the acrimonious relationship Manafort has had with the special counsel's office since his indictment last year. Before his plea agreement, Manafort aggressively challenged the special counsel's legitimacy in court, went through a bitter trial and landed himself in jail after prosecutors discovered he had attempted to tamper with witnesses in his case.
In the latest filing, Mueller's team said Manafort "committed federal crimes" by lying about "a variety of subject matters" even after he agreed to truthfully cooperate with the investigation. Prosecutors said they will detail the "nature of the defendant's crimes and lies" in writing at a later date to the judge.
Through his attorneys, Manafort denied lying, saying he "believes he provided truthful information" during a series of sessions with Mueller's investigators. He also disagreed that he breached his plea agreement. Still, both sides now agree they can't resolve the conflict, and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson should set a date to sentence him.
Manafort, who remains jailed, had been meeting with the special counsel's office since he pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He cut that deal to head off a second trial after being convicted last summer of eight felony counts related to millions of dollars he hid from the IRS in offshore accounts.
Both cases stemmed from his Ukrainian political work and undisclosed lobbying work he admitted to carrying out in the U.S. in violation of federal law.
As part of his plea agreement, Manafort pledged to "cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly" with the government "in any and all matters" prosecutors deemed necessary. That included his work on the Trump campaign as well as his Ukrainian political work, which remains under investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Prosecutors there are looking into the conduct of longtime Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta, former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig and former Republican congressman and lobbyist Vin Weber to determine whether they violated federal law by failing to register as foreign agents with the Justice Department. None of the men has been charged with any crimes.
As part of his plea deal, Manafort also forfeited many of his rights as well as his ability to withdraw the plea if he broke any of the terms. In return, prosecutors agreed to not bring additional charges against him and to ask a judge for a reduction of his sentence if he provided "substantial assistance."
But with prosecutors saying he breached the agreement, Manafort now faces serious repercussions such as the possibility of prosecution on additional charges including the 10 felony counts prosecutors dropped when he made the deal.
Manafort already faces up to five years in prison on the two charges in his plea agreement. In his separate Virginia case, Manafort's potential sentencing under federal guidelines has not yet been calculated, but prosecutors have previously said he could face as much as 10 years in prison on those charges.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in that case in February. His co-defendant Rick Gates, who spent a longer time on the campaign and worked on the Trump inaugural committee, has not had a sentencing date set yet. He continues to cooperate with Mueller.
Dhaka, Nov 27 (UNB) -Donald Trump has suggested Theresa May's Brexit agreement could threaten a US-UK trade deal reports the BCC.
The US president did not specify which aspect of the deal concerned him but told reporters the withdrawal agreement "sounds like a great deal for the EU".
No 10 insisted the deal is "very clear" the UK would have an independent trade policy so it can sign trade deals with countries around the world.
Mrs May fought off heavy criticism of her Brexit deal from MPs on Monday.
Insisting the agreement "delivered for the British people" by regaining control of laws, money and borders, she said it would be put to an MPs vote on 11 December.
Hours later, Mr Trump told reporters outside the White House: "We have to take a look seriously whether or not the UK is allowed to trade.
"Because right now if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us. And that wouldn't be a good thing. I don't think they meant that."
It would appear Mr Trump was suggesting the agreement could leave Britain unable to negotiate a free-trade agreement with the United States.
However, responding to Mr Trump's comments, a Downing Street spokesman said the Brexit withdrawal agreement struck on Sunday would allow the UK to sign bilateral deals with countries including the US.
"We have already been laying the groundwork for an ambitious agreement with the US through our joint working groups, which have met five times so far," the spokesman added.
The BBC's North America Editor Jon Sopel said Mr Trump's comments were provocative, given trade would "carry on in much the same way as before" for the time being.
"Donald Trump knew exactly what he was doing with these remarks," he said.
"There is a very open line of communication between senior members of his administration and prominent Eurosceptics."
During Mr Trump's UK visit in July - days after the British prime minister unveiled the proposals that formed the basis of the Brexit agreement - the US president had suggested an "ambitious" US-UK trade deal would "absolutely be possible".
Billions of pounds in trade already flows between the UK and US - Britain's largest single export market.
EU trade rules currently prevent the UK forging what some might view as a more advantageous bilateral trade deal with Washington.
Under the deal agreed in Brussels, the UK would continue to trade with the US under EU rules until at least the end of the "transition period" in December 2020.
During this transition - designed to allow businesses and others to prepare for the moment new post-Brexit rules kick in - the UK will be able to negotiate and strike deals with the US.
However, they will be unable to come into force until 1 January 2021 and could be delayed further if the backstop is triggered.
Tory Brexiteers fear the "backstop" written into the withdrawal agreement - which aims to prevent the return of customs posts on the Irish border in the event no UK-EU post-Brexit trade deal being agreed - could result in Britain being tied to EU rules for the long term.
In the Commons on Monday, Mrs May acknowledged the backstop was an "insurance policy no-one wants to use" but insisted the UK would have the right to determine whether it came into force.
She faced sustained criticism of the deal from MPs on all sides of the Commons.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mrs May had brought home a "botched deal" that would "leave the UK worse off".
The SNP's Iain Blackford said the agreement was "full of ifs and buts" which would result in Scottish fishermen being "sold out" while the Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas both called for another referendum.
And the DUP's Nigel Dodds said the backstop "was bad for the United Kingdom and bad for the economy" and absolute certainty was needed over its legal application.
Tory backbencher Mark Francois was among a host of MPs to urge PM to think again, claiming the agreement was "as dead as a dodo" and "would not get through" Parliament.
New York, Nov 27 (AP/UNB) — A 70-year-old driver trying to parallel park on a New York City street Monday lost control of his minivan and struck several pedestrians standing next to a fruit stand, killing one person and injuring six others, police said.
"The car just suddenly appeared and banged into the wall backward. I was just so shocked," said witness Jin Lin, 32, who saw several pedestrians trapped between the vehicle and the wall.
It happened shortly before 7 p.m. Monday in Manhattan's Chinatown. Police said four people were hospitalized. Two were in critical condition and the other two were in serious condition.
According to police, as the driver approached a parking spot the vehicle accelerated, striking several people on the sidewalk. Video shows a dark-colored minivan speeding down a street in reverse.
A man who runs a parking lot across the street tells the New York Post "it sounded like a big boom." He said he saw people under the vehicle and "a lot of blood."
The unidentified driver, who remained at the scene, was arrested on charges of failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care.
Lhasa, Nov 26 (Xinhua/UNB) -Gonggar Airport in Lhasa, the capital city of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, has received a record 4 million passengers so far this year, local aviation authorities said Monday.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Tibet office, passenger volume at Gonggar Airport, the largest airport in the region, exceeded 2 million in 2013, and 3 million in 2016.
Tibet has seen fast development of its civil aviation industry thanks to the application of new technologies and improved business modes since the country's reform and opening-up four decades ago.
Tibet now has 10 airlines operating a total of 81 routes, enabling convenient connections between Tibet and most of the major cities in China, according to CAAC.
It is estimated that the airport will see 4.3 million passengers by the end of the year.
Jakarta, Nov 26 (UNB/Antara-AsiaNet) -Following "The First Meeting of Head of National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRAs) from Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States" event in Jakarta (21-22/11), all the members agreed to contribute towards achieving medicine and vaccines self-reliance, which is concluded in "Jakarta Declaration".
This document emphasized in enhancing health level and well-being of community through self-reliance in the capabilities of producing medicine and vaccines including innovation and development of domestic medicine and vaccines industries.
"These commitments are affirmed with formulating action plan which contains varieties of programs to manifest self-reliance in medicine and vaccine production through reinforcing function and regulation of medicine regulators, developing effective systems towards false and substandard medicine, also piloting medicine and vaccines production," said Head of Indonesia's National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) Penny K. Lukito.
"We are thankful to all participants in the event and the collaboration between OIC member countries. Jakarta Declaration and this Action Plan is a proof of unity and solidarity between NMRAs of OIC member States towards self-sustaining health developments," said Penny.
In the event, also discussed about five topics related to medicine and vaccine, which are; status of regulator/control systems in the field of medicine, the importance of NMRAs role in assuring safe, efficacious and standardized medicine availability, OIC efforts to formulating harmonization of medicine and vaccine standard towards achieving self-reliance, sharing experience between OIC members regarding halal medicine, and NMRAs role in eradicating fake and substandard medicine and vaccines.
They also agreed to enhance cooperation between medicine regulators of OIC member States through exchange of information and increasing the capacity of human resources to strengthen detection, prevention, and response towards circulation of fake and substandard medicine and vaccines.
The OIC member States are ready to support BPOM suggestion to form a steering committee and working group which will further discuss issues of halal medicine and standards of harmonization.