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Michael Cohen says Trump is ‘grifting’ off the American people



Cohen added that Trump will likely appear to be running in 2024 “right to the very, very last second” and then step aside.

As far as the New York criminal investigation into Trump and his family business, Cohen said that the former president is “guilty of his own crimes,” though he didn’t elaborate. Cohen added that he was involved in “the inflation and deflation“ of Trump’s assets.

The investigation is coming to a head as Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. heads into the final weeks of his term.

“My case is over. It was over when I had pled guilty,” said Cohen, who served more than a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud in 2018, Trump subsequently denounced him as a liar and a “bad lawyer and fraudster.”

“It was all part of one big, giant package,” Cohen said. “And it’s amazing that I’m the only one, you know, it’s amazing that I’m the only one that ended up doing prison, right, and indicted, incarcerated out of his entire group.”

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Pune may impose fresh restrictions as concerns over ‘Omicron’ variant abound, says Ajit Pawar



As concerns regarding the new COVID-19 ‘Omicron’ abound, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who is also the Guardian Minister for Pune on Saturday said that new restrictions may soon have to be imposed in the district.

While speaking to ABP Majha, Pawar said that the current situation in Pune is stable, however, with the new variant spreading globally fresh restrictions may have to be imposed in the future.

Pawar also said that passengers arriving in Pune by flights will not have to spend too much time at the airport for verification of COVID-19 norms due to relaxation provided recently.

He said airline operators check the vaccination or RT-PCR status of all passengers at the time of selling tickets as well as boarding, so the norm of waiting at the airport here for a few hours after arrival has been relaxed.

The state will follow the norms laid down by the Central government for international passengers, he added.

Addressing a press conference, Pawar said cinema halls and auditoriums can operate at 100 per cent capacity but patrons will have to wear masks and follow pandemic protocols strictly, while open-air programmes will also be allowed with adequate precaution.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has called a meeting of senior officials at 5:30 pm today with regard to the variant.

The meeting is called by BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.

According to BMC, the members of the COVID task force, dean of COVID hospitals, ward officers, health officers will attend the meeting.

The measures and restrictions to deal with the new variants will be discussed in the meeting.

In the meeting, they will also discuss testing and contact tracing of passengers coming from other countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also chaired a meeting on the situation relating to COVID-19 and vaccination with top officials.

India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing for infection.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently added Hong Kong and Israel to the list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing considering the detection of the new COVID variant ‘Omicron’ in South Africa.

After the variant was detected, the epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant, the WHO informed in a statement.

“In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021,” the statement said.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa.

(With agency inputs)

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Published on: Saturday, November 27, 2021, 02:28 PM IST

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MAGA Congressman Falsely Claims Omicron Variant Is Part of Plot to Rig 2022 Election – Mother Jones



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The new coronavirus variant, Omicron—which was first detected by virologists in South Africa—has sparked concerns among public health experts. The United States quickly imposed travel restrictions on certain African countries. Scientists say that much about the new variant remains unknown. But it’s apparently not too soon for members of the US Congress to begin spouting ridiculous conspiracy theories about it.

In a tweet Saturday, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), who served as White House physician for Barack Obama and Donald Trump before running for office on a hard-MAGA platform, dubbed the new strain “the Midterm Election Variant.”

According to this latest crackpot theory, Democrats are going to use Omicron to “push” mail-in ballots during the midterm elections, which will supposedly enable massive amounts to cheating. 

There’s a lot to unpack here. When does Jackson think the midterm elections are? How could the Democrats be using a new variant discovered in November 2021 to impact elections that are a full year away? Are the South African doctors who reported it to the World Health Organization also part of Democrats’ plan to steal the elections? What about the other countries Omicron has been detected in? What role do they play?

Jackson’s tweet manages to hit on two conspiracy theories popular among far right: that the pandemic is somehow being manipulated by Democrats for political gain, and that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. It should go without saying that both of these theories are false. But as we approach the two-year mark in the pandemic, much of the world remains unvaccinated and patience is wearing thin. Ignorant tweets like Jackson’s will only fuel more conspiracy theories about the virus and endanger more lives. 

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