By Jonathan Landay and David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday renewed his call to end a federal probe into Russian election meddling, describing the investigation as a "witch hunt" a day after U.S. prosecutors detailed a previously unknown attempt by a Russian to help his 2016 presidential election campaign. "Time for the Witch Hunt to END!" Trump said in a message on Twitter. His tweet also quoted television host Geraldo Rivera, a Trump friend, dismissing any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as "collusion illusion". It was the president's second tweet of the day about Special Counsel Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia. Russia denies meddling allegations. "After two years and millions of pages of documents (and a cost of over $30 million) no collusion!" Trump tweeted earlier on Saturday. He repeated that contention later as he left the White House for the annual Army-Navy game in Philadelphia, saying, "We're very happy with what we are reading, because there was no collusion whatsoever." U.S. prosecutors, however, did not address in several federal court filings on Friday the question of whether they have found collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Moreover, Mueller said in one filing that Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, had provided his office with "useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contact" with Trump's real estate company during the 2016 campaign. Democrats and other Trump critics fear that newly appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, a Trump loyalist, could fire Mueller or undermine the investigation by cutting off its funding. Prominent Republicans in Congress insist that there is no danger of interference. Trump said on Friday that he would nominate former Attorney General William Barr to the nation’s top law enforcement job. But with the current session of Congress set to end soon, Barr may have to wait until well into 2019 to be confirmed by the Senate. In his court filing on Friday, Mueller said Cohen told them he was approached in November 2015 by an unnamed Russian claiming to be a "'trusted person' in the Russian Federation". The filing said the contact occurred during discussions about a possible hotel bearing Trump's name in Moscow. Cohen is to be sentenced next week for campaign finance violations, financial crimes and lying to Congress about Trump's business dealings in Russia. Prosecutors are seeking a substantial prison sentence. Trump's current lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also took aim at Cohen in a Saturday tweet, saying that federal prosecutors in New York are seeking a prison sentence for Cohen "because as we have said he's still lying." Mueller said the Russian national who approached Cohen offered "synergy on a government level" with the Trump campaign in pushing for a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that Cohen said he did not follow up. Mueller said that the discussions about a potential Trump hotel in Moscow were relevant to his investigation, because they occurred "at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election." In a separate federal court filing on Friday, Mueller's office said Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, lied to investigators about his interactions with a Russian tied to Russian intelligence services. That filing detailed why Mueller's office last week retracted a plea agreement with Manafort. He pleaded guilty in September to two conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate with investigators in hopes of a lighter sentence. (Reporting Jonathan Landay, David Morgan and Jan Wolfe in Washington, and Gareth Jones in London; Editing by Nick Zieminski, Diane Craft and Susan Thomas)
- The Independent
Republicans ‘increasingly irritated’ by Marjorie Taylor Greene’s repeated efforts to disrupt work of Congress, report says
Reps Cheney, Issa, and Kinzinger were among GOP who voted against adjournment
Meghan Markle paid tribute to Princess Diana by wearing her bracelet during her interview with Oprah
The Duchess of Sussex wore three sparkly bangles while filming her Oprah interview, one of which belonged to Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana.
- The Telegraph
Boris Johnson will act unilaterally to give supermarkets and their suppliers more time to adapt to post-Brexit trade arrangements in Northern Ireland in a major escalation of tensions with Brussels. The Prime Minister told the Commons: "The position of Northern Ireland within the UK internal market is rock solid and guaranteed... We leave nothing off the table in order to ensure we get this right." Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, confirmed that the UK is extending the grace period for supermarkets agreed with the EU last year by five months. The move sparked a fresh row with the EU, which is jointly responsible for the Northern Ireland Protocol governing trade and new border checks in the province. The European Commission said the EU had "strong concerns" over the unilateral move because "this amounts to a violation of the relevant substantive provisions of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and the good faith obligation under the Withdrawal Agreement." "This is the second time that the UK government is set to breach international law," said Lord Frost's opposite number Maros Sefcovic, referring to earlier UK threats to override the Withdrawal Agreement. The commission threatened retaliation through enforcement measures in the Withdrawal Agreement and trade deal in response. The temporary relaxation for checks on supermarkets and their suppliers had been due to expire at the end of this month under the terms of Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Withdrawal Agreement reached in 2019 and which came into force this year. However, in a written ministerial statement published on Wednesday, Mr Lewis said suppliers moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will now not be required to fill out the extra paperwork for agrifoods when the deadline expires. Instead, the UK will unilaterally extend the deadline until October while continuing to try to secure agreement with the European Commission for a longer extension as requested by Michael Gove.
- Business Insider
Dr. Fauci has a stunningly simple way to explain how Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine differs from Pfizer's and Moderna's shots
All three of the COVID-19 shots authorized for use in the US train the body to recognize the coronavirus, but J&J's uses a cold virus instead of mRNA.
- Reuters Videos
Hisae Unuma's home withstood the earthquake 10 years ago which unleashed a tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear plant and forced her and 160,000 others to flee their homes.She returned recently to check on her old house.Its roof is now close to complete collapse and a bamboo had penetrated through the former living room."I'm almost 70 years old, so I don't think it's possible for me to live here. There's no base for a life here. I can't go shopping and there's no hospital, so I can't imagine building a life here."Japan's government has turned Fukushima's recovery into a symbol of national revival ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games and is encouraging residents to return with financial aid as it decontaminates the land.But lingering worries about the nearby nuclear plant, lack of jobs and poor infrastructure is keeping many away."I want to say to the government: Please don't solve the problem with money. We should be treated like human beings, not animals. They feed us with money to shut us up. It shouldn't be like this. We want to live like human beings. That is what I really want to say."Unuma declined to claim her compensation, unwilling to be treated as a Fukushima refugee dependent on Tokyo Electric's handouts.She now lives as a vegetable farmer near the capital and insists on building a life with her own hands."There's nothing that lets me feel secure enough to continue making a living. But now since there are people who come to me to buy vegetables, that's the easiest way for me to make a living by delivering vegetables to them daily. That's a life with hope."
From blockbusters like "Skyfall" and "Dunkirk" to smaller gems like "Wuthering Heights," here are the 25 best British movies of the last decade.
- Associated Press
About 300 refugees from a Christian minority community from Myanmar held a demonstration in India's capital on Wednesday against last month’s military takeover in their country and demanded the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other Myanmar leaders. The demonstration was held at Jantar Mantar, an area of New Delhi close to Parliament that is often used for protests.
- LA Times
Everyone's favorite 'WandaVision' theme song, 'Agatha All Along,' has charted on Billboard and iTunes. Here's how actress Kathryn Hahn reacted.
At least 15 people were killed in an SUV crash with a semi in Southern California, hospital authorities say
Officials from the El Centro Regional Medical Center in Imperial County said 27 passengers were in the SUV that crashed into a truck carrying gravel.
- The Independent
Conservative youth activist Charlie Kirk promoted buses in now-deleted tweet two days before storming of Congress
A lawyer for an accused Oath Keeper Capitol rioter says the group's 'quick reaction force' of weapon suppliers was actually just one guy
The Oath Keepers were one of the most prominent far-right militia groups the FBI said was involved in the January 6 Capitol riot.
The Tower Of The Koutoubia Mosque, owned by the actress, is sold to an unidentified buyer.
- Business Insider
Tesla's operating profit will be $20 billion in 2025, the analysts estimate, but only half will come from sales of its electric vehicles.
The classic movie musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer premiered 56 years ago, but even superfans might not know all these secrets.
- Associated Press
More than 75 former U.S. attorneys are throwing their support behind President Joe Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general and urging congressional leaders to quickly confirm her to the post. Vanita Gupta has been nominated for the No. 3 position in the Justice Department, a position in which she would be responsible for overseeing the department’s civil, antitrust and civil rights litigation, but also for helping to implement policy decisions on a host of nationwide issues. The Senate has scheduled the confirmation hearing for Gupta and Lisa Monaco, Biden’s nominee for deputy attorney general, for March 9.
- Associated Press
Authorities in Myanmar have charged Associated Press journalist Thein Zaw and five other members of the media with violating a public order law that could see them imprisoned for up to three years, a lawyer said Tuesday. The six were arrested while covering protests against the Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The group includes journalists for Myanmar Now, Myanmar Photo Agency, 7Day News, Zee Kwet online news and a freelancer.
- USA TODAY
Joe Biden calls it 'a big mistake' for states to lift mask mandates; North Dakota has nation's worst virus rate: Latest COVID-19 updates
The White House was bullish on vaccines, masks and its stimulus bill Wednesday as the U.S. death toll neared 520,000. Latest COVID-19 updates.
- Associated Press
Pennsylvania's Republican Party has expressed its disapproval of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey over his vote to convict Donald Trump during the former president’s second impeachment trial, while stopping short of issuing the more serious — albeit still symbolic — censure that some members had pushed for. The vote counting wrapped up late Monday night, completing a five-hour remote video meeting last week that had to be continued because of technical problems, state committee members said. The vote count was 128-124, with 13 abstaining, to approve a statement expressing disappointment with fellow Republican Toomey, but not a censure, state committee members said.
- The Independent
‘Everything is made in China,’ said a business partner behind the six foot replica
- Associated Press
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday he is considering extending a coronavirus state of emergency in the Tokyo region for about two weeks because of concerns that infections have not slowed enough and are continuing to strain medical systems in the region. Suga declared a month-long state of emergency on Jan. 7 for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, and then extended it through March 7. “Our anti-infection measures are in a very important phase,” Suga told reporters Wednesday.