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Three men remanded in bizarre murder plot to be released

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Limassol police HQ

Three men are due to be released from custody on Monday in the latest twist in a bizarre case in which it was alleged that two brothers plotted to dress up as Father Christmas and kill a man while pretending to be carol singers.

The case emerged last week and centred on the alleged plot to murder president of the Limassol school board Dinos Ellinas, seemingly over financial disputes.

The police confirmed that the three men remanded in custody  as suspects in the case are expected to be set free within the day as the source who informed the police of the plot has so far refused to put his claim in writing.

Local media reported last week that the two men, aged 25 and 26, contacted a third man who put them into contact with a weapons dealer from whom they purchased two pistols. A police search at the brothers’ homes only turned up a single replica pistol.

A third man was also arrested last week while the school board announced last Wednesday that they had recently worked with the company linked to the suspects and a sum of €360,000 had been paid.

On Monday, police spokesman Christos Andreou told state broadcaster CyBC that the three men under arrest, one aged 25 and two 26-year-olds, are set to be released as their arrest warrant is due to expire and there was no further evidence against them.

Andreou confirmed that the informer has not put in writing the allegations that he initially made against the suspects.

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Mueller Report Section On Trump Jr. Ordered To Be Unveiled

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Ten redacted passages in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — including one which discusses the decision not to bring criminal charges against Donald Trump Jr. and others — were ordered to be revealed following a yearslong legal battle by BuzzFeed News.

In an 18-page opinion issued Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit unanimously ruled that there is a “significant public interest” in lifting the veil of secrecy and that “disclosure would also show how the Special Counsel interpreted the relevant law and applied it to already public facts in reaching his declination decisions.”

The Justice Department had said the passages should be kept from public view to protect the privacy rights of the people in question. But after reviewing an unredacted copy of the report, which summarized the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and then-president Donald Trump’s attempts to obstruct the inquiry, the court determined that those rights were “diminished” by other parts of the report.

“The factual and personally identifying information alleged to be contained in the redacted passages,” the opinion said, “is available elsewhere in the Report.” It continued, “The redacted passages contain no new facts; they contain no new information or descriptions of conduct that have not been made public elsewhere in this very Report. The privacy interests, then, are not robust, as no additional reputational or stigmatizing harm can result from the disclosure of the information contained therein.”

As a result, “the strong public interest tips the scale in favor of disclosure, as releasing this information would show only government decisionmaking, not new private information.” The opinion was written by Judge Karen Henderson, a George H.W. Bush appointee.

The appeals court opinion said the Department of Justice must lift redactions covering a total of 10 passages — on pages 9, 179, 180, and 183 — that discuss the decision not to charge people with campaign finance violations and a computer-related crime.

The court rejected BuzzFeed News’ request as it applied to individuals who are not considered public figures because revealing Mueller’s deliberations about them would result in “reputational harm.”

“Of the individuals whose privacy interests may be jeopardized by disclosure of the requested information, only one is a public official. The remaining individuals are private citizens who served on a presidential campaign,” the opinion said.

The Department of Justice can still appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The government argued that these new disclosures were not necessary because most of the report has already been made public, and because Congress also released its own report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. But the appeals court described the government’s argument as “irrelevant” because Mueller’s legal analysis of whether to bring charges has not been released and likely would “contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government.”

One of the redacted passages the government must disclose corresponds to a public portion of the report related to Donald Trump Jr. and his communication with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. Last year, BuzzFeed News forced the government to unredact other previously secret portions of the Mueller report relating to WikiLeaks. Those passages showed Mueller’s office investigated WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, for the hacking of Democratic National Committee servers as well as for possible campaign finance violations, but ultimately chose not to bring criminal charges.

In 2019, BuzzFeed News filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Justice for a complete, unredacted copy of Mueller’s report. Although the report had already been publicly released, BuzzFeed News sought it through a public records request because doing so would force the government to explain the justification for each redaction. That would also provide an opportunity to challenge the redactions. Since then, a federal court judge twice ruled in favor of the news organization and ordered the government to release dozens of secret passages in the report. BuzzFeed News filed an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit last year after a lower court rejected its attempts to win the release of additional sections of the report.

Matt Topic, BuzzFeed News’ FOIA attorney, said Tuesday’s appeals court’s decision “reaffirms the public’s right to understand how the government makes important decisions.”

“Unfortunately government agencies routinely violate FOIA, and it’s encouraging whenever courts apply the law and hold the government to its transparency obligations,” Topic said.

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Covid: Chandigarh tricity’s monthly tally sees 40% rise in November

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The monthly Covid-19 case tally in the tricity showed an uptick in November, for the first time after the second wave peaked in May this year.

The tricity recorded 304 cases in November, nearly 40% rise from the figures in October. It has added to the concern of health authorities, which are bracing for the new Omicron variant of the virus.

In October, the tricity had recorded 219 Covid-19 cases, with Chandigarh being the worst hit with 102 cases, followed by 82 in Mohali and 35 in Panchkula. In November, the number went up to 304, with Mohali reporting 127 cases, followed by 114 in Chandigarh and 63 in Panchkula.

In fact, Panchkula’s November tally is the highest in the past five months. Meanwhile, Chandigarh recorded no fatality in November, a first since the pandemic broke out last March.

During the month, the single-day tally peaked at 26 on November 26. The case fatality rate remained in control, with no death reported in Chandigarh and Panchkula, and just four patients succumbing in Mohali. Even October had witnessed just five deaths. With 46,245 cases and 790 deaths, May had proved to be the deadliest for the tricity.

Infra, facilities being ramped up

Dr GD Puri, head of the PGIMER’s Covid management panel, said: “Earlier, patients with kidney, liver or heart problems were getting infected with Covid-19. But now, patients with primary lung symptoms are getting hospitalised. This is a worrisome situation.”

Dr Puri said even those people who have been vaccinated are contracting the virus and a few severe cases have also surfaced. “We have enough standby beds and ventilators, and facilities will be scaled up as per the situation,” he said.

Mohali civil surgeon Dr Adarshpal Kaur said: “So far, no case of Omicron variant has been reported, and there is nothing to be worried about. We have ramped up our infrastructure and testing to control the rise in the number of cases.”

Panchkula deputy commissioner Mahavir Kaushik on Tuesday held a meeting with the health department and gave directions to strengthen the infrastructure and facilities in view of the new variant. He emphasised on a five-pronged strategy: test, trace, track, vaccinate and follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

Even the Chandigarh health department issued an advisory on Tuesday, urging unvaccinated residents to come forward and get jabbed and asking all to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

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The Hot Zone: Anthrax Cast & Character Guide | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

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The Hot Zone: Anthrax Cast & Character Guide | Screen Rant  Screen Rant

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