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A federal judge has dismissed porn actress Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero issued the order Monday in Los Angeles.
Daniels alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and sued him in April. The lawsuit came after Trump tweeted about a composite sketch of a man Daniels says threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about an alleged affair. He called it a “total con job.”
In dismissing the suit, the judge said Trump’s tweet was a “hyperbolic statement” against a political adversary.
Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, said it was a “total victory” for the president. Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, vowed to appeal and said he’s confident the ruling will be reversed.
Daniels’ lawsuit over a hush-money deal is pending.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
Re Judge’s limited ruling: Daniels’ other claims against Trump and Cohen proceed unaffected. Trump’s contrary claims are as deceptive as his claims about the inauguration attendance.
We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal.
A Temecula man who spent nearly 20 years in prison for murder has been exonerated, and two family members of the victim have been arrested in the case, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin announced at a news conference Monday.
On Friday, the District Attorney’s Office dropped all charges against 60-year-old Horace Roberts for the 1998 murder of Terry Cheek. Authorities reopened the case after an investigation by the California Innocence Project.
Cheek’s body was found along Temescal Canyon Road, near Corona Lake, in April 1998. At the time, Cheek was married and was having an affair with Roberts, her co-worker.
Roberts would be arrested and charged with her murder. In July 1999, a jury convicted Roberts of second-degree murder and he was sentenced to 15 years-to-life in prison.
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin speaks at a news conference on Oct. 15.
The California Innocence Project began investigating Robert’s case, and through advances in DNA technology not available during the original trial, found additional evidence earlier this year, which the organization brought to District Attorney Mike Hestrin’s Conviction Review Committee.
Hestrin made the decision to reopen the investigation into Cheek’s murder.
Along with the exoneration of Roberts, the investigation led to the arrests of two suspects: 62-year-old Googie Rene Harris Sr., of Jurupa Valley, and 52-year-old Joaquin Lateee Leal, of Compton.
Harris was Cheek’s husband, and Leal was her nephew by marriage.
The District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges against Leal and Harris on Monday. Both men are scheduled to be arraigned in the case on Tuesday at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.
Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates before becoming a billionaire philanthropist who invested in conservation, space travel and professional sports, died Monday. He was 65.
His death was announced by his company, Vulcan Inc.
Earlier this month Allen announced that the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that he was treated for in 2009 had returned and he planned to fight it aggressively.
"While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend," said his sister, Jody Allen, in a statement.
Allen, who was an avid sports fan, owned the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks.
Allen and Gates met while attending a private school in north Seattle. The two friends would later drop out of college to pursue the future they envisioned: A world with a computer in every home.
Gates so strongly believed it that he left Harvard University in his junior year to devote himself full-time to his and Allen's startup, originally called Micro-Soft. Allen spent two years at Washington State University before dropping out as well.
Pictures of Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates,left, and Paul Allen from the early 1970s are on display at the Microsoft Visitor Center on April 6, 2005 in Redmond, Washington. (Credit: Ron Wurzer/Getty Images)
They founded the company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and their first product was a computer language for the Altair hobby-kit personal computer, giving hobbyists a basic way to program and operate the machine.
After Gates and Allen found some success selling their programming language, MS-Basic, the Seattle natives moved their business in 1979 to Bellevue, Washington, not far from its eventual home in Redmond.
Microsoft's big break came in 1980, when IBM Corp. decided to move into personal computers and asked Microsoft to provide the operating system.
Gates and company didn't invent the operating system. To meet IBM's needs, they spent $50,000 to buy one known as QDOS from another programmer, Tim Paterson. Eventually the product, refined by Microsoft — and renamed DOS, for Disk Operating System — became the core of IBM PCs and their clones, catapulting Microsoft into its dominant position in the PC industry.
The first versions of two classic Microsoft products, Microsoft Word and the Windows operating system, were released in 1983. By 1991, Microsoft's operating systems were used by 93 percent of the world's personal computers.
The Windows operating system is now used on most of the world's desktop computers, and Word is the cornerstone of the company's prevalent Office products.
Microsoft was thrust onto the throne of technology and soon Gates and Allen became billionaires.
With his sister Jody Allen in 1986, he founded Vulcan, the investment firm that oversees his business and philanthropic efforts. He founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the aerospace firm Stratolaunch, which has built a colossal airplane designed to launch satellites into orbit. He has also backed research into nuclear-fusion power.
Allen later joined the list of America's wealthiest people who pledged to give away the bulk of their fortunes to charity. In 2010, he publicly pledged to give away the majority of his fortune, saying he believed "those fortunate to achieve great wealth should put it to work for the good of humanity."
When he released his 2011 memoir, "Idea Man," he allowed 60 Minutes inside his home on Lake Washington, across the water from Seattle, revealing collections that ranged from the guitar Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock to vintage war planes and a 300-foot yacht with its own submarine.
Allen served as Microsoft's executive vice president of research and new product development until 1983, when he resigned after being diagnosed with cancer.
"To be 30 years old and have that kind of shock — to face your mortality — really makes you feel like you should do some of the things that you haven't done yet," Allen said in a 2000 book, "Inside Out: Microsoft in Our Own Words," published to celebrate 25 years of Microsoft.
His influence is firmly imprinted on the cultural landscape of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, from the bright metallic Museum of Pop Culture designed by architect Frank Gehry to the computer science center at the University of Washington that bears his name.
In 1988 at the age of 35, he bought the Portland Trail Blazers professional basketball team. He told The Associated Press that "for a true fan of the game, this is a dream come true."
He also was a part owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, a major league soccer team, and bought the Seattle Seahawks. Allen could sometimes be seen at games or chatting in the locker room with players.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of @PaulGAllen, our founder and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician and supporter of the arts. All of us who worked with Paul feel an inexpressible loss today. https://t.co/OMLZ7ivvSDpic.twitter.com/Bfa8kK6Q8e
Former NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was often beaten by his father, told people close to him that he was sexually molested as a boy, and had a sexual relationship with his high school quarterback, according to an explosive report from the Boston Globe’s acclaimed Spotlight team.
Those are among the new details in the in-depth investigative series, which also reports that Hernandez struggled with his sexual identity until his suicide in April 2017 at age 27.
The reporting is based on scores of interviews, thousands of court and government records, and recordings of nearly 300 jailhouse phone calls between Hernandez and others, the Globe writes.
Two articles in the Spotlight series have been published so far, and four more are expected in the coming days. The first examined Hernandez’s troubled childhood, while the second put a lens up to his time at the University of Florida. Future parts will focus on his time with the New England Patriots, his role in three murder cases, his time in prison, and his brain damage from repeated hits to the head.
The ultimate goal of the series is to try to explain the lasting, and perhaps unanswerable, question about Hernandez: Why?
Why did a talented football star with a $40 million contract kill Odin Lloyd in June 2013? Why did he kill himself in prison just days after he had been acquitted in a separate double murder trial?
The first two parts put forward several details that may have played a role in shaping his early life.
His father beat him
In interviews with people who knew the Hernandez family in their hometown of Bristol, Connecticut, Hernandez’s father, Dennis Hernandez, has long been held up as the well-respected anchor of the family. He was a high school sports star in the town and closely raised Aaron and his older brother Jonathan to follow in his footsteps.
“His father was pretty strict,” Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County told CNN in 2015. “I mean, he told me his father used to make him — to shoot 500 shots before he went, sometimes to play with his friends. His dad clearly kept them anchored.”
Dennis Hernandez died in 2006 of in an infection contracted during hernia surgery, a tragic loss for Hernandez that has sometimes been cited as a key moment in his eventual downfall. Author James Patterson, who wrote a best-selling book on Hernandez, told CNN that if Hernandez’s father hadn’t died, he would have kept his son away from some troubled people in Bristol.
However, the Globe reports that Dennis Hernandez was an abusive father who often severely beat his children, according to Jonathan Hernandez, whose upcoming memoir, “The Truth About Aaron,” comes out later this month.
Jonathan Hernandez said that he once threatened to call the police about the abuse, but didn’t follow through.
“I picked up the phone once to call, to seek help,” he told the Globe. “And his response was, ‘Call them.’ And he handed me the phone, and he said, ‘I’m going to beat you even harder, you and your brother, and they’re going to have to pull me off of you when they knock down the door.'”
Rachel Elinsky of HarperCollins, the company publishing his memoir, said Jonathan Hernandez is not doing interviews until the book’s publication date of October 30. CNN was not able to reach Terri Hernandez, Aaron’s mother.
Jeff Morgan, a former assistant football coach at Bristol Central, Hernandez’s high school, told the Globe that he wondered if his father went too far after Hernandez got in trouble for drinking before a school dance.
“Then, the next time we saw him, he looked like I guess his father did discipline him some,” he told the Globe. “He had a black eye. I’m assuming that’s where that came from.”
Morgan declined to comment for this story.
Hernandez was sexually molested
Though the details are few, Aaron Hernandez disclosed as an adult that he had been sexually molested as a young boy, Jonathan Hernandez told the Globe. He declined to say more about it or identify the person responsible.
George Leontire, one of Hernandez’s attorneys, also said Hernandez had spoken to him of sexual abuse as a child, the Globe reports.
In a short interview with CNN, Leontire said he did not take issue with anything in the Globe’s reporting.
“There was nothing I was surprised about,” he said. “There was nothing I disagree with.”
Hernandez struggled with his sexuality
The Spotlight team also reported that Hernandez had a sexual relationship with a man, an oft-rumored theory that has been tabloid fodder for years.
Hernandez’s high school quarterback, Dennis SanSoucie, told the Globe that they had an intermittent sexual relationship that began in middle school and continued through high school. It was the first time SanSoucie had spoken to a media outlet about their relationship.
“Me and him were very much into trying to hide what we were doing. We didn’t want people to know,” SanSoucie said.
SanSoucie said he came out after Hernandez’s suicide and believes his former teammate would be proud of him for acknowledging their past.
“I really truly feel in my heart I got the thumbs-up from him,” he told the Globe.
Hernandez’s brother, Jonathan Hernandez, said that his father was not accepting of any behavior he viewed as unmanly, including when Aaron was young.
“I remember (Aaron) wanted to be a cheerleader. My cousins were cheerleaders and amazing,” Jonathan told the Globe. “And I remember coming home and like my dad put an end to that really quick. And it was not OK. My dad made it clear that … he had his definition of a man.”
After nearly three months without a winner, the Mega Millions lottery game has climbed to an estimated $654 million jackpot.
Unfortunately, even as the big prize for Tuesday night’s drawing increases to the fourth-largest in U.S. history , the odds of matching all six numbers and winning the game don’t improve. They’re stuck at a miserable one in 302.5 million.
Authorities searched Monday for a 13-year-old girl they believe is in danger after her parents were found dead in their western Wisconsin home.
Deputies went to the home in Barron after dispatchers received a 911 call from an unknown person at around 1 a.m. Monday, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said. He said they found the bodies of Jayme Closs’ parents, though he didn’t release their names. He also said there had been gunshots, but he stopped short of saying that’s how the couple died.
“At the end of the end of the day, I want a 13-year-old here safe and sound. That’s our goal. That’s our only goal right now,” Fitzgerald said at a news briefing.
Investigators don’t have any leads or suspects, but they have enlisted the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FBI, which has agents who specialize in missing children cases, the sheriff said. He said Jayme is not considered a suspect in her parents’ deaths.
Deputies searched the area around the family’s home with drones and infrared equipment, but they didn’t find any clues as to her whereabouts. Fitzgerald said investigators are frustrated they haven’t developed any leads and asked for the public’s help with any information about what could have happened to the girl.
Officers also were at Jayme’s middle school talking with her friends and acquaintances, hoping to develop some leads, officials said.
An Amber Alert was issued Monday for Jayme, although it did not include a suspect or vehicle.
Jayme is described as 5-feet (1.5 meters) tall and 100 pounds (45 kilograms), with strawberry-blond hair and green eyes.
Barron is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Minneapolis.
The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that required paint companies to fund the removal of lead paint from California homes.
The Supreme Court on Monday said it wouldn’t take up the issue.
Courts previously ruled in favor of 10 California cities and counties that argued ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams knowingly endangered public health by advertising and selling lead paint.
A Santa Clara County judge found lead paint to be a public nuisance and required the companies to pay $1.15 billion for abatement. A California state court of appeal last November upheld the finding of public nuisance but said the companies only have to pay for abatement in homes built before 1951.
The companies had called the previous rulings unprecedented and noted lead paint was lawful at the time.
The federal government is running up its credit bill again.
The deficit rose to $779 billion in fiscal year 2018, up 17% from last year, according to final figures released Monday by the Treasury Department. That’s the largest number since 2012, when the country was still spending massively to stimulate an economy struggling to recover.
Government receipts were flat this year from last year. Corporate tax collections fell $76 billion, or 22%, due to the Republican-backed tax cut. But that drop was more than offset by increased revenues from individual and self-employment taxes. The fiscal year ended September 30.
Spending rose 3% over the previous year, fueled in part by increases to the defense budget agreed upon in September 2017 as part of a deal between Republicans and Democrats to head off a government shutdown. Social Security and interest on the federal debt also contributed to the increase.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a think tank that warns of the dangers of rising debt levels, said the deficit could reach $1 trillion as soon as next year. That would still be below a high of $1.4 trillion reached in 2009, but in a vastly different economy.
“Those elected to Congress this year will face stark and difficult choices to put the debt on a downward path and protect our nation’s social programs from insolvency,” said Maya MacGuineas, the group’s president. “It’s no longer a problem for the future.”
The White House has steadfastly defended its policies, arguing that the yawning gap is a reason to cut deeper into social programs to balance out increases to the military budget. It’s a long way from the Republican stance under President Barack Obama, when the GOP-led House demanded about $1 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years in exchange for a debt ceiling increase, leading to years of painful automatic reductions to federal spending.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a notable debt hawk while he was a congressman, said the numbers underscored a need to cut spending.
“The president is very much aware of the realities presented by our national debt,” Mulvaney said in a statement. “America’s booming economy will create increased government revenues — an important step toward long-term fiscal sustainability. But this fiscal picture is a blunt warning to Congress of the dire consequences of irresponsible and unnecessary spending.”
His comments echoed remarks by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week in an interview with CNN suggesting that Democrats’ resistance to cutting government spending on education, health care and other social programs was to blame for deficit increases.
“People are going to want to say the deficit is because of the tax cuts. That’s not the real story,” Mnuchin told CNN. “The real story is we made a significant investment in the military which is very, very important, and to get that done we had to increase non-military spending.”
Not many non-military spending categories increased, however. Outlays for the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy and Education all decreased, while Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs increased slightly. The Agriculture Department saw a 7% bump from last year.
The deficit figure is in line with what the Congressional Budget Office, the official government scorekeeper of federal fiscal policy, projected earlier this month. In June, the CBO projectedthat the deficit would rise to 9.5% of GDP in 2018.
Also in June, the federal debt — which aggregates annual deficits over time — stood at 78% of gross domestic product, the highest level since right after World War II. Updated figures were not immediately available on Monday.
As interest rates rise, servicing that ballooning debt could pose challenging. Treasury spent $522 billion last year paying interest, up 14% from the year before. That’s more than the cost of Medicaid, food stamps, and the department of Housing and Urban Development combined. But it is smaller as a percentage of GDP than it has been historically.
In late September, the House passed a bill that would extend individual tax cuts that are currently are slated to end in 2025, at a cost of $631 billion over a 10-year window.
Former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the FBI about his contacts with a reporter.
Federal prosecutors accused Wolfe, a former security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee, of lying to FBI agents in December 2017 about his contacts with three reporters, including through his use of encrypted messaging applications.
Judge Ketanji B. Jackson asked Wolfe, “Did you make a false statement to the FBI?”
“I did, your honor,” Wolfe responded.
Jackson continued, “Are you entering a guilty plea because you are in fact guilty and for no other reason?”
Wolfe, standing next to his attorney, paused before he finally replied, “Yes, your honor.”
“I’m guilty your honor,” he added.
Sentencing has been set for the afternoon of December 20, and sentencing guidelines indicate he could face up to six months in prison.
Wolfe’s guilty plea came after the Justice Department announced in June that the former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer had been arrested and indicted for lying to the FBI during an investigation into unlawful disclosure of classified information. President Donald Trump remarked on the arrest at the time, saying, “They caught a leaker.”
The Justice Department said in a statement that as part of the plea agreement with Wolfe, it would dismiss the two other false-statements charges against him. The statement said Wolfe’s guilty plea was an admission he made false statements to the FBI about providing the media with “unclassified, but not otherwise publicly available, information.”
Although Wolfe pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, he has not been charged with unlawfully disclosing classified information. Wolfe’s attorneys issued a statement on Monday emphasizing that Wolfe “was never charged with having compromised classified information” and that such a charge was not part of his guilty plea.
“Jim has accepted responsibility for his actions and has chosen to resolve this matter now so that he and his family can move forward with their lives,” the statement read. “We will have much more to say about the facts and Jim’s distinguished record of nearly three decades of dedicated service to the Senate and the intelligence community at his sentencing hearing.”
The New York Times reported at the time of the announcement of Wolfe’s indictment that federal authorities had seized phone and email records from one of the paper’s reporters, Ali Watkins, who had a relationship with Wolfe for three years.
Watkins told the Times that Wolfe had not provided her with classified information during their relationship.
The indictment earlier this year and Wolfe’s guilty plea on Monday came as Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have called for aggressively pursuing people who provide the public with sensitive information. Sessions said about a year ago that the Justice Department during his tenure had stepped up its active leak investigations relative to recent years — noting 27 open investigations at the time of his comments last November.