TDB Top 5 International Stories: Tuesday 21st March 2017

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5: The FBI is Investigating Trump Connections to Russia
4: British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money
3: FBI: No information to support Trump wiretap claim
2: DONALD TRUMP PLANS TO ELIMINATE LEGAL AID FUNDING THAT SUPPORTS SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
1: James Comey Confirms FBI Probe of Trump Campaign over Ties with Russian Government Ahead of Election

5: The FBI is Investigating Trump Connections to Russia

FBI Director James Comey received permission to take the “extraordinary step” to testify about the investigation before Congress.

After weeks of speculation, FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress that the FBI is investigating allegations the Russian government interfered with the 2016 election. That investigation is also looking at whether Donald Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russian agents.

“That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” Comey told the House Intelligence Committee during a hearing Monday. “As with any counter investigation, there will also be an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.”

Ordinarily, the FBI doesn’t comment on the existence of ongoing investigations, Comey said. But he had received permission to take this “extraordinary step.” Comey later added that the investigation into Russian interference originally began in July 2016.

Vice News

4: British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money

Britain’s high street banks processed nearly $740m from a vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB, the Guardian can reveal.

HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, that are facing questions over what they knew about the international scheme and why they did not turn away suspicious money transfers.

Documents seen by the Guardian show that at least $20bn appears to have been moved out of Russia during a four-year period between 2010 and 2014. The true figure could be $80bn, detectives believe.

The Guardian 

3: FBI: No information to support Trump wiretap claim

Top US intelligence officials, including the director of the FBI, say they have no information supporting President Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessor Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of him during the 2016 election campaign.

FBI Director James Comey appeared on Monday before a panel of Congress members looking into possible intelligence breaches, allegations of Russian hacking, and links between Moscow and Trump’s campaign.

“With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets,” Comey told members of the House Intelligence Committee.

Aljazeera

2: DONALD TRUMP PLANS TO ELIMINATE LEGAL AID FUNDING THAT SUPPORTS SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

IT WASN’T LONG after Sonota got married that her husband began to abuse her. After her second child was born in 2012, the violence accelerated; police were often called to the couple’s St. Louis, Missouri, home, and Sonota had to seek medical attention more than once. With a 1-year-old son and newborn daughter, Sonota knew she was in trouble. “I had a lack of support and I was in an abusive situation and I had two babies,” she told The Intercept. “I was just very overwhelmed and lost and needed some type of guidance and help to get into a safe place in my life for my kids.”

Sonota found that help at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, a nonprofit legal aid organization that provides lawyers for low-income individuals navigating the civil justice system. For Sonota, that meant helping her to obtain a protective order against her husband, to file for divorce, and to secure child support for her children. Her legal aid attorney also helped her to get access to therapy, a cellphone for emergencies, and school supplies and Christmas presents for her children. The assistance made it possible for Sonota to get her life back on track — into housing and back into school, where she obtained an associate degree in business management and accounting. “I love business,” she said. She intends to use her education in part “to teach my kids how to be employers and not employees.”

“Deliverance was everything,” Sonota said. Her legal aid champions “were compassionate and yet realistic and logical, you know, to direct me on a better path in life, and I just love them for that.”

The Intercept

1: James Comey Confirms FBI Probe of Trump Campaign over Ties with Russian Government Ahead of Election

On Monday FBI Director James Comey confirmed an FBI probe into the Trump campaign over Russian interference in the election and denied the president’s claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

Comey said the FBI was “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Comey went on to say, “With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets.”

Democracy Now!

 

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